Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the management of supply chains within the construction industry. Supply chains in this sector evidence a marked tendency to waste and inefficiency. One approach to improving this situation, which is the subject of intense discussion by both scientists and practitioners, is the establishment of strategic partnerships integrated with the scientific observation of the processes involved. This paper aims to present a case study of such a strategic alliance among German building contractors whose goal it is to cover the entire life cycle of a building, from its planning to its ultimate facility management. The paper seeks to focus on the establishment and implementation of an aggregated strategic alliance and its success factors. Design/methodology/approach – The research methodology is based on a case study of a German network of builders and trade contracting companies. Data collection tools included observation of workshops and meetings, semi‐structured interviews and access to key documentation, IT‐infrastructure and archives of the network. Findings – Key factors of success in strategic alliances within the construction industry are: central coordination among the partners employing decentralised task management; application of an appropriate IT‐solution; and mutual trust among the cooperating partners. Originality/value of paper – While there is growing literature in the field of supply chain management within the construction industry there is less empirical evidence providing practical examples of managing supply chains in this area. Strategic alliances are a crucial requisite for the successful management and integration of services and production within the construction industry.
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 10, 2010
Keywords: Construction industry; Supply chain management; Strategic alliances; Communication technologies; Partnership