The efficiency of the production planning and control process in construction depends significantly on the reliability and timely availability of resource information. The Last Planner system for production control mandates that a construction task should not be started unless all the seven resource prerequisites are in satisfactory condition. Failure to do so results in wasteful processes. However, this information is not readily available due to the lack of systems integration that prevails within the industry. Current implementations of the last planner system mostly rely on the team leaders‘ and foreman‘s ability to gather the required information for the weekly planning meetings and also for the look-ahead planning. However, much time is wasted chasing relevant information due to the above-mentioned problems. Also, the reliability of planning could be much improved if there is a system available, which aggregates resource information from various project stakeholders in one place. In such a situation, web services could provide an ideal platform for integration as they provide a flexible way to integrate disparate systems, with choreography based on identified business processes drawn from Last Planner and implemented using BPMN/BPEL. With the improvement in connectivity as a result of better availability of high speed Internet through mobile and fixed networks, there is a better opportunity for information integration through web services. A conceptual framework based on web services is put forward which aims to improve the information flow within the industry and provide the right information at the right time to enable better planning and control within the production system.
Construction process integration, ICT in construction, Construction efficiency
Dave, B. , Boddy, S. & Koskela, L. 2010, 'Improving Information Flow Within the Production Management System With Web Services' In:, Walsh, K. & Alves, T., 18th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Haifa, Israel, 14-16 Jul 2010. pp 445-455