Re-Engineering the Project Procurement Process through Concurrent Engineering

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C J ANUMBA Director of Research – Civil and Building Engineering, University of Loughborough England JOHN BOWRON Technical Manager – Consteel Technical Services – Saltburn - England

ABSTRACT Over the last five years, many government-sponsored studies and initiatives have highlighted the need for changes aimed at improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the UK construction industry. With clients demanding reduced costs, reduced project durations, and improved quality, an important aspect of the construction process that needs to be improved is project procurement. This paper examines the project procurement practices that are commonly used in the UK construction industry, and investigates the extent to which they meet the requirements of a Concurrent Engineering (CE) environment. The paper also reviews the successful implementation of Concurrent Engineering within manufacturing and discusses how their procurement processes have had to change to facilitate the adoption of concurrent engineering. Where appropriate, comparisons are made with the construction industry. The potential for re-engineering the construction project procurement process through the adoption of CE principles is discussed and substantiated with the results of a recent industry survey into current practices in the construction industry. The paper employs the IDEF0 modelling technique to describe the procurement process in terms of its key components; allowing for the identification of inputs, outputs, mechanisms and constraints at each sub-stage. It concludes that a new project procurement process based on CE principles is vital for the construction industry to improve its efficiency and competitiveness. Keywords: Concurrent engineering, construction, procurement, re-engineering BIBLIOGRAPHY Winner, R I, Pennel, J P, Bertrand, H E, Slusarczuk, M M G (1988) The role of Concurrent Engineering in Weapon...
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