The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Rafaella Dana Broft

The design of a Lean Production System to successfully implement SCM at the lower tiers of construction supply chains

School research theme: Supply chain management
Research supervisors: Prof Stephen Pryke, Prof Lauri Koskela, Prof Hedley Smyth
Start date: 29 September 2016

The construction industry is criticised for its lack of performance, its barriers to collaboration and for adopting highly adversarial and fragmented approaches to relationships. Despite the described advantages of SCM, a paucity of properly documented examples of successfully implemented Supply Chain Management (SCM) initiatives exists, particularly at the lower tiers of the construction supply chain. The characteristics of construction are regarded as obstacles for the successful implementation of SCM at these lower tiers of the construction supply chain. 
The starting point of this research is to explore these characteristics, often described as ‘peculiarities’ of the industry. It uses a production theory perspective to describe construction production, to challenge current construction management and to analyse the concept of SCM, believed to be a corrective and/or more efficient alternative for construction management. The research’s overall aim is then to design an approach to creating more effective (with regards to value creation in the delivery of construction projects to client organisations) and ‘mature’ supply chain relationships through successful SCM implementation. It focuses on SCM and extended integration at the lower tiers of the construction supply chain and respectively, on the improved collaboration between main contractors and their direct suppliers of both services and material. 

Publications and other works
  • Broft, R.D., and Koskela, L. (2018), Supply Chain Management in Construction from a Production Theory Perspective, in: Proceedings 26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC), González, V.A. (ed.), Chennai, India, pp. 271-281.  
  • Broft, R.D. (2017), Exploring the application of lean principles to a construction supply chain, in: Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC), 9-12 July, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
  • Broft, R.D. and Pryke, S. (2016), Who should be leading in the implementation of SCM in construction?, in: Proceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2016, Vol. I, Kähkönen, K. and Keinänen, M. (eds), Tampere, Finland, pp. 575-588.
  • Broft, R.D., S. Badi and Pryke, S. (2016), Towards SC Maturity in Construction, Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Emerald, Special Issue.