Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a simulation model capable of capturing the complex variables impacting the productivity of tunneling construction projects. Design/methodology/approach – Simulation modeling is used to construct high‐level models of construction supply networks in order to perform quantitative analysis, enabling planners to work out the embedded complexities of the system. Findings – This study presents a detailed simulation model of a real life tunnel construction project along with its supply chain of liner segments. Using this detailed model, a sensitivity analysis for the tunneling project shows the impact of chosen variables on the duration of a tunneling project; these results are used to verify the importance of considering the whole supply chain of a construction project in the planning stage. Practical implications – Effective quality control, consideration of the shortage of storage space, and anticipation of required lead time when placing the first order to achieve the full storage capacity of liners before the start of a project are some practices that can be employed by construction organizations to address supply chain issues for tunneling projects. Originality/value – Research into quantifying the benefits of implementing supply chain management (SCM) is very limited: the literature for the construction industry generally discusses how SCM concepts can be adopted, or what problems and challenges inhibit such adoption without analyzing and quantifying the effects of these techniques on an actual construction project.
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 6, 2011
Keywords: Supply chain management; Project management; Systems management; Simulation; Modelling; Tunnel construction; Productivity analysis
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