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The role of logistics in the materials flow control process: experiences from abroad.

Agapiou, Andrew and Clausen, L.E. and Flanagan, Roger and Norman, George and Notman, David (1998) The role of logistics in the materials flow control process: experiences from abroad. Construction Management and Economics, 16 (2). pp. 131-137. ISSN 0144-6193

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Abstract

Frequently, the supply of building materials to the construction site is fraught with difficulties that can have a significant effect on productivity. Major productivity gains are possible, particularly if the building process is planned from a logistics perspective. The concept of logistics was developed initially within the manufacturing industry, and now constitutes an important management tool to ensure an overall strategic perspective on the flow of materials in the production process. This paper contends that logistics are relevant also to the construction industry, and describes the development of a logistics model to manage the flow of materials from suppliers to installation on-site and its application to a Danish house building project. The case study evidence suggests that the primary focus of the logistics concept in construction is to improve co-ordination and communication between project participants during the design and construction phases, particularly in the materials flow control process. The logistics concept requires accurate scheduling of materials to programmed delivery dateskeyed to actual site layout and storage arrangements. The logistics approach also involves a new role for materials suppliers, including early involvement in the design phase and overall responsibility for the flow of information relating to materials.