Subcontracting in the construction industry has greatly increased in recent years. On one hand, subcontracting as allowed shifting some of the risk from the main contractor to the subcontractor and allowed some firms to become experts in specialized topics. On the other hand, inadequate subcontracting management has frequently resulted in an adversarial relationship between main contractors and their subcontractors. Subcontracting has also meant, in many cases, uncoordinated onsite execution and disappointing quality and time table fulfillment. The development of new systems and tools to support subcontractor management is part of a collaborative research project carried out by the Production Management Center (GEPUC) from the Catholic University of Chile. This is a collaborative research project with participation of several construction companies and the Chilean Construction Chamber. The experience gained by testing prototype tools and systems in pilot projects has allowed the development of a methodology based on lean principles and partnering practices for evaluating subcontractors onsite. This methodology allows main contractors to implement an onsite subcontractor evaluation system. This system enables a fast responsive and proactive performance attitude by conducting periodic evaluations. The system can also support subcontractor selection based on their onsite performance. In the long term, this system can lead to the development of collaborative relationships with selected subcontractors based on their sustained performance in many projects.
Construction supply chain, subcontractor management, lean construction.
Maturana, S. , Alarcon, L. & Vrsalovic, M. 2004, 'Achieving Collaboration in the Construction Supply Chain: An Onsite Subcontractors' Evaluation Methodology' In:, Bertelsen, S. & Formoso, C.T., 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Helsingør, Denmark, 3-5 Aug 2004.