The Importance of Commitments Management to the Integration of Make-to- Order Supply Chains in Construction Industry

Marcelo M. B. Azambuja1, Eduardo L. Isatto2, Tiago S. Marder3 & Carlos T. Formoso4

1PhD Candidate, Construction Engineering and Project Management (CEPM), University of Texas at Austin, e- mail: azambuja@mail.utexas.edu Ph.D., Assistant Lecturer at Building
2Ph.D., Assistant Lecturer at Building Innovation Research Unit (NORIE) – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), e-mail: isatto@cpgec.ufrgs.br
3M.Sc.,Building Innovation Research Unit (NORIE) – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), e- mail: tiagomarder@cpgec.ufrgs.br
4Ph.D., Associate Professor at Building Innovation Research Unit (NORIE) – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), e-mail: formoso@ufrgs.br

Abstract

Most causes of the inefficiency in construction supply chains are related to managerial issues, including the poor management of commitments among their members and the lack of integration of managerial processes along the chain. This paper discusses those problems in two case studies carried out in the building elevator and cut and bend rebar supply chains. As in many of construction supply chains, both configurations are characterized by their make- to-order nature, the delivery of customized products to their customers and by having their production based on final design specifications. Focusing on the flow of information along the supply chain, the objective of this paper is to assess how the integration of these make-to- order supply chains’ processes is affected by the way commitments among chain members are coordinated. By undertaking a detailed description of both supply chains’ processes and analyzing their existing problems, the study shows that a major part of them are related to the poor integration of the information flows. The Language Action Perspective (LAP) was used to provide an additional approach for analysis, emphasizing the commitments involved in the information sharing among supply chain agents. The LAP analysis revealed that the root cause of those problems relies mainly on the poor management of commitments among supply chain members. Moreover, many of the problems could be avoided by explicitly planning the flow of commitments that are made necessary by inter-organizational processes as well as by organization's internal processes. The adoption of the LAP and the focus on the flow of commitments may support the understanding of make-to-order supply chains integration problems as well as suggest actions towards the integration of their processes.

Keywords

Supply Chain Management, Make-to-order, information flow, Language/Action perspective, commitments management.

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Reference

Azambuja, M.M.B. , Isatto, E.L. , Marder, T.S. & Formoso, C.T. 2006, 'The Importance of Commitments Management to the Integration of Make-to- Order Supply Chains in Construction Industry' In:, 14th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Santiago, Chile, 1-. pp 609-623

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