Quantifying the Benefits of Using E-Marketplace in Construction Companies

Ignacio Schnonherr1, Luiz F. Alarcon2 & Sergio Maturana3

1R.A., Escuela de Ingeniería, Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile. E-Mail: ischonherr@gmail.com
2Professor of Civil Engineering, Escuela de Ingeniería, Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile, E-Mail: lalarcon@ing.puc.cl
3Professor of Industrial Engineering, Escuela de Ingeniería, Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile, E-Mail: smaturan@ing.puc.cl

Abstract

The procurement process is critical for construction companies. In order to improve it, many are resorting to e-marketplaces although they usually do not know exactly how much they can gain by doing so. This paper describes a study that quantified the benefits of using an e-marketplace to support the procurement process of a construction company. In this study, 25 construction companies were studied, all of which use Iconstruye, Chile’s main e-marketplace in the construction industry. The research shows that the adoption of an e-marketplace reduces turnaround time, errors and urgent orders, and irregular purchases. In general, a more reliable procurement process directly contributes to a leaner construction process by reducing upstream variability, procurement cycle times and the need for large inventories on site. Users also perceive an improvement in certain global indicators when using an emarketplace.

Keywords

e-marketplace, construction procurement process, supply process, lean construction.

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Reference

Schnonherr, I. , Alarcon, L.F. & Maturana, S. 2007, 'Quantifying the Benefits of Using E-Marketplace in Construction Companies' In:, Pasquire, C.L, C.L. & Tzortzopoulos, P., 15th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. East Lansing, Michigan, USA, 18-20 Jul 2007. pp 560-570

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