The Application of Information Technology by Australian Contractors: Toward Process Re-Engineering

Peter E.D. Love1, Carol MacSporran2 & Selwyn N. Tucker3

1Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Division of Building, Construction and Engineering, PO Box 56, Highett, Victoria 3190, Australia
2Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Division of Building, Construction and Engineering, PO Box 56, Highett, Victoria 3190, Australia
3Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Division of Building, Construction and Engineering, PO Box 56, Highett, Victoria 3190, Australia

Abstract

Information technology (IT) has been advocated as the key enabler of process re-engineering in the construction industry. Process re-engineering represents a philosophy of change which embraces a fundamental paradigm of rethinking and redesign of processes, including lean construction. Its potential application to the construction industry is gradually being recognised. The management of processes invariably requires information, and therefore the capacity for IT to enable process re-engineering in the construction industry needs to be investigated. However, it is suggested that before the potential benefits of IT and process reengineering can be realised, current work practices need to be explored. A recent survey of 47 contracting companies’ current and future applications of IT and the benefits and problems associated with its implementation are described. The results obtained suggest that advanced applications of IT such as simulation, expert systems, and supplier direct-link ordering were limited in their appeal to Australian contractors. This paper concludes that contractors do not foresee IT as having a significant impact on their current work practices, although it is suggested that contractors are possibly not aware of its potential application.The implementation of IT as the key enabler of process re-engineering is discussed.

Keywords

information technology, process re-engineering, process, enabler.

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Reference

Love, P.E. , MacSporran, C. & Tucker, S.N. 1996, 'The Application of Information Technology by Australian Contractors: Toward Process Re-Engineering' In:, 4th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Birmingham, UK, 1-.

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