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by AYAZ ALI JALBANI Registration Number: 081461145 A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MSc in Construction Project Management Dissertation Supervisor: Mr. Issack Peter

Heriot Watt University, UK School of Built Environment Dubai Campus. December 2010

Declaration: I hereby confirm that this dissertation is my own work.

Signature Date

____________ ____________


I Ayaz Ali Jalbani confirm that this piece of work which is submitted for the purpose of assessment, is my own work and expressed in my own words. Any uses made within it from works of other authors in any form (e.g. ideas, figures, text, tables) are properly acknowledged at the point of there use. A full list of the references employed has been included.




Chapter 1: Introduction..............................................................................................9 1.1 Rationale for the Dissertation ....................................................................9 1.2 Reasons to Choose this Topic..................................................................10 1.3 Purpose of the Dissertation ......................................................................10 1.4 Aims and Objectives ..................................................................................11 1.5 Research Hypothesis ..................................................................................11 1.6 Research Methodology..............................................................................11 2 Chapter 2: Literature Review Theme...................................................................14 2.1 An Overview of Supply Chain Management ......................................14 2.2 Barriers in Implementation of Supply Chain Management .............21 2.3 Benefits of SCM .........................................................................................22 2.4 Clients and their suppliers ........................................................................23 2.5 Information technology use (E-Commerce) ........................................24 2.6 Applications of Supply Chain Management ........................................24 2.7 The Role of Supply chain in Construction Industry: .........................27 2.8 Current Status of UAE Construction Industry ....................................31 2.9 Conclusion ....................................................................................................35 3 Chapter 3: Research Methods ................................................................................37 3.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................37 3.2 Qualitative Research Technique (QRT)................................................38 3.3 Qualitative Research Technique (QNRT) ............................................39 3.4 Selected Method for Data Collection ....................................................40 3.5 Questionnaire Design ................................................................................42 3.6 Questionnaire Outline: ..............................................................................43 3.7 Sample Survey.............................................................................................45 3.8 Information Gathering ...............................................................................46 3.9 Data Analysis ...............................................................................................46 3.10 Graphs............................................................................................................46 3.11 Conclusion ....................................................................................................47 4 Chapter 4: Data Collection and Analysis ............................................................48 4.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................48 4.2 Results and Discussions ............................................................................48 4.3 Problems Faced during Survey ...............................................................70 4.4 Findings of the Survey ..............................................................................71 5 CHAPER 5: Conclusions and Recommendations...........................................72 5.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................72 5.2 Conclusion General Summary ................................................................72 5.3 Dissertation Aims and Objectives Overview.......................................73 5.4 Hypothesis Authentication .......................................................................76 5.5 Research Limitation ...................................................................................77 5.6 Recommendations for Future Research ................................................77 6 References...................................................................................................................79


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Tab-1: Difference Between Tradional and SCM.. ...15 Tab-2: Viewpoints Towards SCM ...17 Tab-3: Comaparison of Qunatitative and QualitativeMethodology..44 Figure 1: Drivers of SCM.18 Figure2: SC operation Rference Model....19 Figure 3: SCM as a Tool...20 Figure-4: Goals and Means of Supply Chain an IT System View ..21 Figure-5: Major Barriers in Value Optimization ..22 Figure-6: Concept of VCM ..24 Figure-7: Foure roles of SCM in Construction.27 Figure-8: Antecedents and Consequences ...29 Figure-9: Percentage of Investement in UAE Const. industry .30 Figure-10: Investment Comparison in UAE Const...32 Figure-11: Status of current projects in UAE Const. ............33 Figure-12: The Cyclical nature of action reserach. ..37


First of all, I must thank God for giving me an opportunity to write such dissertation. I especially thank my supervisor Mr. Issack Peter for his great insights, perspectives, guidance and continuous support which gave me confidence and moral support to complete this challenge. I am grateful to Mr. Akhtar Ali, researcher at The University of Gottingen, Germany for his support, proof reading and taking out time to discuss different technical issues in the research. I also wish to mention about my beloved parents for their continuous and prolong support right from my early education to this post graduation and who always gave me blessings and support to accomplish the targets of my life. In addition to above I also thank all my colleagues, friends whose names are not spelled out here personally in making this dissertation successful.

This dissertation is aimed to focus towards the adoption and implementation of supply chain management (SCM) in UAE Construction industry. The findings are based on literature review and views of construction companies based in UAE. Our finding suggest that though construction companies have limited knowledge of SCM and need better conceptual understanding to reap the benefits of SCM In addition to above the research focuses to explore and investigate different problems which might affect the supply chain management (SCM) process in the built environment industry, in particular, the construction companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). SCM is a tool to build the authentic relationship and collaboration among suppliers and the different stakeholders of the organization and hence it improves the inventory visibility and velocity in terms of innovation that is essential for construction engineering and projects. In todays context, many construction companies have implemented system which streamlines and manages the systematic structure of purchase and logistic. The management of this entire structuring process is known as SCM. It has not only proved an important and vital strategic tool for the construction companies, but has also influenced customer service, product quality and their competitiveness in the market. Traditionally, construction related management focused on supply chains each representing a process such as built-up, delivery etc. The literature review highlights the origination of supply chain and details the factors involved in the whole SC process. From literature review it is identified that the manufacturing industries have adapted supply chain management procedures, and that these methods are appropriate and valid to the construction industry as well, however knowledge and information pertaining to the overall practice and the benefits realized within the construction industry are limited. One can say that e-commerce revolution has much effect on the construction round the globe but yet it is not fully matured at this point of time. In conventional system, construction related management techniques believed to be on supply chains, where it matures with subsequent influences from the different management processes for example built-up, delivery and so on, but minimal attention is given on the implementation of SCM in the built environment. Particularly, the industry understands in terms of supply chain practice and its measures are comparatively unfamiliar, predominantly in countries for instance the (UAE), where unprecedented construction has taken place in the past few years. To reiterate, the focus of this dissertation is to probe contemporary problems in adoption of SCM in the built environment industry in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE as it is a growing construction market in the worlds built environment sector. The research also focuses to look at the different approaches and to understand the difference between modern supply chain concept and traditional approach of management. A survey in the form of a questionnaire was distributed amongst twenty top construction companies in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE thus ensuring sampling diversity. It not only highlights valuable data but also views of their supply chain departments. Majority of the surveyed professional organizations supported the SCM process in the UAE to meet project requirements. They also helped in identifying critical issues in adopting SCM as a tool in the UAE built environment. These were; lacking in customer exact requirements, insufficient technical knowledge and inappropriate organization 6

procedures in dealing with supply chain management along with poor IT infrastructure and approach. The survey analysis shows that the UAE construction industry needs improvement especially towards; higher managements support for SCM process, efficient resource management and capable technical staff who understand customers requirements and are well versed in new technologies.



Business to business


Business to Customer


Electronic data interchange


Information technology

QRT Qualitative research technique

QNRT Quantitative research technique


Supply Chain


Supply Chain Management


United Arab Emirates

Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter introduces the essential Supply Chain (SC) practice in relation to the objective of this dissertation and the basic reasons for conducting research on Supply Chain Management (SCM) implementation in UAE built environment. 1.1 Rationale for the Dissertation

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a link which connects each element of the manufacturing process right from the production phase to delivery phase and to the end user (which involves network of suppliers) with fulfilling the quality triangle i.e within optimized cost, minimal time and required quality. Lau.,et al (2004) defined the concept as to improve the performance of the SCM Concept, it is very much required to bring autonomous companies together. Tommelein, et al (2003) outlooks SCM concept as SCM management technique is a leading process improvement which enhance revenue , save time and boost the quality of construction and process and it has been considered as attractive business approach being adopted in todays business market. SCM has been growing in connection with the impact from the theory of production, supply and planned procurement process. It is a fact that adopting SCM concept in the construction industry or built environment, is not simple because it needs new innovations, complete know how of the market and also the knowledge to manage a difficult and animated network of organizations that operate to assemble a number of contradictory business objectives Tommelein et al (2003). SCM is managed by effective participation of all stakeholder concerned in meeting the end user (customer) request such as suppliers, manufacturers, retailers. The most vital goal of the SCM concept is the full protection and fulfilling of consumer requirements, optimizing the profit for the company and reducing the extent of waste in terms of three basic principles: time, cost and the quality. The vehicle manufacturing industry has already set an example in the supply chain adoption and most of industry partners successfully running SCM as a tool in their industry to get maximum benefits. The successful adopting of SCM in vehicle industry is the top management support, which makes processes easy and provide more confident to the SCM team but on other hand construction industry process is more complicated than manufacturing process, therefore it needs more effort in the SCM adoption. The Latham

report (1994) examined the construction industry and highlighted the trust of built environment industry on competitive and transparent tendering process for the sublet work. It also illustrated the sign to the related and different approaches that generally existed in the process. The main problem lies in construction industry sector is the lack of sustaining continuing and friendly relationship for the smooth running of company to enhance the quality and satisfy the customer requirements. SCM concept first originated and also further successfully grown in the manufacturing industry. The main implementation of SCM was to standardize the supplies to the Toyota car manufacturers. The outcome of this implementation in Toyota car manufacturers was significant in the context of time and money. It enhances the suppliers communication with production line. With the successful implementation of SCM by Toyota, Japanese industry absorbs SCM as a tool in a short duration, with this adoption SCM become hot topic for the researcher too and researchers try to find the possibility of SCM as a tool in different industry domains Chevin and cook. (2000). In parallel to SCM different new approaches also emerged for example value chain and extended enterprise. These concepts also affect the understanding of SCM in the industry


Reasons to Choose this Topic

UAE construction industry initially started as traditional approach but due to huge and massive development in recent years industry had adopted the new technologies and new concepts in construction industry; however little research has been conducted on SCM process in construction projects. To deal this space and to look into the obstacles for implementation of proper SCM concept, this research task is conducted in particular to fast growing country in the world United Arab Emirates construction industry sector.


Purpose of the Dissertation

The intension of this dissertation is to find out the awareness of the industry in implementing the SCM, the obstacles facing the industry and reasonable benefits which can be realized in proper implementation of this concept. The study focuses on SCM concept, how UAE construction sector adopted SCM patterns, and suggest its possible future usage. The survey conducted for UAE construction industry to get involved into 10

the UAE construction industry professionals and organizations to identify their views and hidden barriers in adopting this process in their organizations. In addition, the main target of this investigation is to study current strategy of the organizations in adopting the chain management and supplier assessment practice, the usefulness of relationship between the main stakeholders of Project for example contractors, supplier and client.


Aims and Objectives

This study is to identify problem in SCM adoption in a UAE construction industry and also increase awareness in the UAE construction sector to avail utmost benefits by adopting SCM as tool. In addition to this, the study is focused on the following issues.

To review and critically appraise the current literature on SCM and to determine the relevance of the literature in current built environment industry practice

To identify the use and set backs in implementing the SCM concept in UAE Construction industry.

Recommendations for effective ways to SCM relationship between the parties (i.e Suppliers, contractors and their clients) in the UAE


Research Hypothesis

UAE construction industry is still infancy in the area of Supply Chain Management process. 1.6 Research Methodology

The research methodology starts with state of art to look into different supply chain approaches presently used in construction industry and to compare those with the approaches used by the current UAE construction industry. To see, whether, current construction industry adopts supply chain process in their organizations or not, to achieve this, a Comprehensive survey was conducted, as part of this research method and the results are analyzed statistically.


Stage I - Literature Review The detailed and updated literature review and research is carried out by referring industry magazines, articles , generals, books in order to get in depth knowledge of SCM basic requirements , the concept, background , barriers and SCM application in particular to construction industry. In addition to above the comprehensive and exclusive analysis, if SCM concept followed in UAE construction industry. Comparison with other industries and discussions in the light of different International Journals, article, books and so on. Stage-1 literature research analysis is covered in the subsequent Chapter-2 in this dissertation. This chapter is a critical appraisal of number of writers to find a common view point, common issues and differences in statements with criticism also taken into account Naoum (2003)

Stage II Research Method This section of dissertation explains the methods of data collection with authentic and logical reasoning for selecting the technique of research. SCM concept contains wide range of meanings and implementation strategy as per the nature of various types of organizations within the construction industry. Therefore the survey questions were made easy and interesting to involve more participants and sent to the selected companies in UAE. Construction companies were selected as the only focused issues to simplify the outline of the questions and to present a more ultimate review of the use of SCM concept in UAE construction. This section will be covered in Chapter-3 of dissertation.

Stage III Analysis The outcome of literature review and the replies of different market analysis received in the form of dully filled questioner, which is analyzed in this section and responses received are compared with our assumption highlighted in hypothesis of this dissertation and any discrepancies between the results and information described within the

literature review are noted within the analysis. The section is further divided into eight subsections, which is based on our survey, which is formed as a questionnaire and


distributed to different UAE construction companies. These eight subsections are as follows:

Background Information of the company The relationships of different stakeholders for example relationship between contractors, suppliers and their clients.

The main role of SCM in construction projects SCM improvement factors in construction industry The importance of different factors in the formation of SC relationship The most significant objective of SCM collaboration SCM key factors in the successful adoption in UAE construction industry The main problems to adopt supply chain process in the organization. The analysis is covered in Chapter-4

Stage IV Conclusion and Recommendation This last chapter 5 explains outcome of the survey and to authenticate the results which were highlighted in the hypotheses described in the start of the dissertation. The limitations of this research are also identified and recommendations are put forward for future research of SCM implementation in UAE construction industry.


Chapter 2: Literature Review Theme

Chapter 2 provides state of the art based on the overview of the SCM and the lesson learnt from the application of SCM in different industry sectors, current status of the UAE construction industry and conclusion of the state of art. 2.1 An Overview of Supply Chain Management

The supply chain is defined as sequence of processes and flows, which are considered to meet the final requirements of the customer. Hence different stages may be considered during decision making and execution to the final consumption. Usually the supply chain includes producer and suppliers but it depends upon the logistic flows, retailers, consumers and so on. Therefore we can say that supply chain not only includes producer and supplier but new supply chain artifacts can be defined for example new product development, marketing and customer services. Supply Chain Management concept first originated in a manufacturing industry and Toyota was the first to adopt SCM in their delivery system Shingo, (1988), Toyota a very famous auto industry implemented this delivery system. The adoption of SCM was in correct time, which increases the interaction with production line and also decreases the inventories. Since the evolution of SCM in car manufacturing industry gained more attention and independent status. A Triple P (People, Planet and profit / Prosperity) concept was introduced by Cooper and Ellram (1993), they suggest triple p deals with people, planet and profit, which has a great impact on the SCM processes but there, are still additional characteristics which may be considered for example: social, environmental and financial problems. Burgess (2007) provides an extensive literature on SCM and Cousins provides SCM from academics point of view. Lambert and Cooper (2000) differentiates SCM key decisions in three ways: these are Supply chain business process, supply chain management component and supply chain network structure. This conceptual relationship emphasize on the SCM, to fulfill the need of SCM, industry has to go through several steps to design and implement the successful integration of SCM to their existing systems. 14

The supply chain management distinguishes itself from the traditional management system approaches in many different aspects as illustrated in the table.1 Van der Vorst (2007)



Traditional Management

Supply Chain Management Joint reduction in channel inventories


Inventory management Interdependent effort approach


Total cost approach

Minimize firm costs

Channel efficiencies



3. 4.

Time horizon

Short term

Long term

Information sharing and Limited to needs of own As required for planning monitoring current transactions and monitoring purposes



Single contact for the Multiple contacts between transaction channel pairs between firms and channels

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Joint Planning Compatibility Breadth of supplier base Channel leadership

Transaction based Not relevant Large Not needed

On-going For key relationships Small Needed Shared over long run

Sharing of risks and Each on its own rewards


Speed of information, Warehouse orientation inventory and flows

Distribution center

Table-1 Difference between Traditional Management and Supply Chain Management. (Van der Vorst :2007) The eleven elements are distinguished based on traditional and supply chain management. In Supply chain inventory management approach is jointly taken but in traditional it is a interdependent effort. Time horizons in traditional management are short term but in supply chain these are long term. The compatibility and channel leaderships are not considered in the traditional management but in supply chain these are considered as key 15

factors. The speed of information, inventory and flows become distributed not warehouse oriented in the supply chain management, which has more advantage and are easy to handle and distribute in the distributed supply chain environments. Anderson published seven principle of supply chain management, these principle were seven time tested and offer value to the organization to adopt the SCM in their organizations. They describe that each principle can provide three types of benefits these are: revenue growth, asset utilization and cost reduction. These principles suggest that the goal and opportunities of the companies can be reviewed. The revenue growth can be improved by tailoring the supply chain process based on the customer requirements. The asset utilization refers to the fixed assets for example plants,

equipments and other logistic resources and the cost reduction refers to the whole process cost that can start from purchase material to less invisible heads and even quality costs. These seven principles are list below: 1. The segmentation should be based on service needs and customize of the supply chain to get profit. This leads to the revenue growth. 2. The customization of logistics network that support the asset utilization. 3. The supply chain should be consistent with the forecast and can utilize resources optimally. This supports resource utilization. 4. Try to differentiate customer closer products and speed conversion across the supply chain. 5. Try to manage sources strategically that could reduce unseen total cost for purchase material and services. This supports cost reduction strategy. 6. Try to develop a supply chain wide that should support the multiple level of decision making and information, services and products should be visible. This supports asset utilization. 7. Try to adopt vertical or end to end measures for every channel. This supports multipurpose for example revenue growth, asset utilization and cost reductions.

Ayres (2010); Awad (2010) and Leijeuen (2005) listed the viewpoints encountered in the industry and 4Cs in supply chain management these are: communicative, coordinated, collaborative and co-operative.. He argues that most of the companies fit one of six viewpoints showed in the table -2. Their viewpoints are arranged 16

from narrowest to the broadest supply chain point of view. The first view point is a functional viewpoint and the supply chain executive for this viewpoint is none that means there is no supply chain for the functional viewpoint.

SNO 1.

Viewpoint Functional None,


Supply Chain Executive

Stand-alone None

department 2. 3. 4. Procurement Logistics Information Incoming Supplies Distribution to channels Integration technology 5. 6. Process re-engineering Strategic Cost reduction Profit-adding capabilities Table -2 Viewpoints Towards SCM (Ayres :2010) He also describes the different drivers that have an impact on supply chain change. These drivers are shown in figure 2.1. This supply chain change process is pushed forward by the PESTEL that is an acronym of political, economic, social, technological, and environmental and legislative factors. They argue that these factors are external to SCM process but these are correlated in the continuous process improvement. The other factors extended products, globalization, flexibility imperative, process / centered management and collaboration are inside the SCM change process. The first three driverss i.e. extended products, globalization and flexibility imperative act differently and signify simultaneously and interact collaboratively. The multi-company supply chain processes are management by the process- centered management factor. For tactical and continuous strategy collaboration plays vital role in the SCM process. From operations Up and coming manager From procurement From distribution

through From IT or operations


Figure-1: Drivers of Supply Chain Change. (Ayres :2010) The Supply Chain Operation Reference Model (SCOR-model) version 9.0 proposed by the supply chain council and the council of supply chain management professionals published on their website ( in 2008. The SCOR-model provides different characteristics for the measurement based on the architecture, performance and best practices of supply chain activities. This model does not fulfill all characteristics of the supply chain so the gaps identified in SCOR-model are fulfilled by its sister model which is called as Design Chain Operation Reference Model and Customer Chain Operation Reference Model. The model provides core management processes like plan, source, make, deliver, source return and delivers return. For Each core process different levels are described. This type of model may leads to the different limitations during the supply chain processes. SCOR-model has been already adopted in the supply chain improvement project, which results in high integration management advantages. SCOR18

model also provides different metrics at level 3 for the quality measurement in these metrics process elements are measured for the supply chain service and cost performance. It also have high factor in the risk management in the planning and execution of different technological aspects.

Figure -2: Supply Chain Operation Reference Model (SCOR version 9.0 level 2) (Adopted from SCOR overview, published by supply chain council.) The office of the government commerce United Kingdom ( provides an interactive tool for public sector procures for the supply chain management. The figure -3 illustrated the partial life cycle of the tool.


Vender rating

Establish, develop Business needs Financial approval

Contract management
The Procurement lifecycle

Development of strategy

Contract Award Bid clarification

ID suppliers

Receive tenders

Invite tenders

Figure -3: SCM as a Tool (source:

The all phases of the lifecycle are integrated to each other. The tool can be used by the SME also. The complexity level of management is assessed by the supply chain management based on high and low complexity measures. The advantage of using SCM as a tool provides the consistency of services, point of focus on contract management, effective risk management and coordinated management of supply base. The lifecycle of the tool provides an integrated process for the contract, starting from the tender invitations the lifecycle goes in a step by step approach, tenders will be received and process for the bidding, this gives an opportunity to track each bidders profile in a short span of the time. After bidding the main flow of lifecycle start by awarding the contract to the winner of the bid. The tool also integrates processes which are after the awarding contract for example contract management. This contract management and contract award wizard are more useful when large projects are divided into small projects, this decomposition of project makes difficult to manage and the tool is powerful to integrate all contract related issues. It is always recommended to use integrated tool for specific needs and SCM as tool provides more management and quick processes in the project lifecycle. 20

Clark (2000) ; Min (2002) and Verwijmeren (2004) described the software components that are useful to increase the productivity across the organization. He suggested network based approach, which has great impact on the distributed environment of the organization. The different components of the organizations can be integrated into the network based software and the supply chain can be the one component of the existing software. The author suggested the web services can be implemented for the distributed components for example data warehouse management, inventory management and so on. The author has described the technical details for the major distributed components that can be integrated to the Supply chain tools. We do not focus on the software technical details; however integrated softwares in distributed environments has great impact on the efficiency, reduces risks and enhance the productivity of the organizations. The Byoung (2008) suggested goals and means of businesses processes related to IT systems. The figure 4 provides an integrated business process based on performance view, process view and IT view. Every supply chain performance indicator should be processes in process view connected with the enterprise business process which is acted as a mediator , after processes the link is integrated to the IT system, which provides goals and means of supply chain system.

Figure-4 Goals and Means of Supply Chain an IT System View [Byoung :2008]


Barriers in Implementation of Supply Chain Management

The SCM implementation is always hard if you do not have proper structural organization with in the company. Other obstacles which have great impact on implementation are management differences in the opinions for final product within supply chain, raw or obsolete information present in SC process, which results in misunderstanding of the requirements. Another factor could be the coordination among the team members, 21

distributed information between the different stakeholders. Chopra et al. (2001) described different barriers in the SCM process: incentive barriers, data processing barriers, operational barriers and social barriers. Harnan (2000) demonstrate the different challenges that industry facing today to adopt the Value chain management. Figure-5 illustrates the major barriers in the value chain management, which needs to be undertaken for gaining more benefit from it. From the analysis it seems that technology is the least factor of concern. However most of the organizations agreed that main challenge they are facing is the price pressures. Other factor considered in this survey is lack of trust, knowledge/ training, lack of leadership, poor communication which is the second main challenge appears in this survey and cooperate philosophical differences

Figure-5: Major Barriers in Value Chain Optimization (Hernan: 2000). Trkman and Groznik (2010) present the current issues and problems facing by the industry while adoption of supply chain management. Their study reveals the common issues and problems which are already discussed in the literature for example risks, business process renovations, trust buildings, lack of leadership and so on. They also highlight the SCM standard that provides guidelines to face these kinds of challenges. Prater (2001) focused on the international agility of the SCM process and they recognize that uncertainty and flexibility are the main barrier to adopt SCM in the industry. 2.3 Benefits of SCM

With proper implementation SCM technique, the organizations can reap the following benefits as short term and long terms as well and Egan re-think construction report also 22

suggest that the increase of 10% in annual turnover of the organization with right and innovated application tools of SCM. Bureaucracy reduction in organization, good understanding and knowledge of end-market trends, innovation in design, efficient in utilizing the resources and skills, enhanced safety and after-sales service to the end-user, flexibility and a tactical capability to plan and innovate, improved employee motivation and team-working.


Clients and their suppliers

It is believed that clients and contractors can efficiently manage supply chains by adopting the Japanese production techniques. Ayres (2010); Awad (2010) suggest that the approach should be "based on what is appropriate for the specific circumstances of the business transaction." both consider that management practices, which have been successful under one set of circumstances, may not be applicable in all cases and promote appropriateness to the current situation. Most of the customers have modernized their supplier base in compliance with Latham report and the initiation of partnering procurement technique. ALDAR real Estate is familiar example here in UAE who introduced bulk tendering for a package of separate projects to reduce the number of suppliers. They realized that the formation of closer relationships with suppliers will lead to improved construction performance. (Gulf Construction 2010) Many of the reputed organizations in the pre-Egan era realized that benefits could be gained from strategically aligning their supply chains. Cox et al., (2005) surveyed a number of client organizations who have "challenged their traditional approaches to construction procurement, and have designed more effective and efficient innovative strategies, in an attempt to deliver required business benefits. Cox et al (2005) consider that "it can be more sensible for the business to identify the requirement for a differentiated approach towards effective influence in supply chains." This understanding correlates with the views by Harnan (2000) in the post-Egan era report that does not allow for the diversity in the built environment. Fundamentally construction industry is hard to handle SCM process within organizations. However, if organizations approach a contract with a non-adversarial attitude and a willingness to co-operate then success can be ensured. 23


Information technology use (E-Commerce)

The use of E-commerce technology has vital impact on construction industry especially in recent years due to the development of new tool that is called E-Commerce. This explains that with collaboration of supplier and customer the replacement can be done within the organization by replacing physical processes to automated processes by adding new models and other means of electronic resources Simchi-Levi et al (2000). The present examples of e-commerce are procurement of construction materials and placing the orders over the internet, electronic data interchange (EDI), mail tracking and e-mail. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is widely used communication tool in SC adopted in several construction companies round the globe. EDI plays an important role to link the business process with business associates and enhance the accuracy of data exchange. This most technological system is not much difficult to adopt and implement in the organization, however there are common problems with numerous EDI systems used in the industry lacks in compatibility among the vendors. The majority of the organizations doesnt posses a good and enhanced application system and need to concentrate more on interfacing their software. The utilization of this system in the built environment industry has not been widespread due to some barriers such as development and utilization cost, technological boundaries, standardization chain process and critical user mass. EDI (Electronic Data interchange) is widely implemented to ease procurement process and to minimize the transactions costs within the organization. EDI offers purchasers closer and more efficient links with their suppliers and reinforces the development of justin-time and partnership sourcing relationships


Applications of Supply Chain Management

The supply chain are widely used these days in the different sectors, Our state-of-art for the application of SCM does not cover each and every sector, we have selected some interesting application of SCM in the very well known industry sectors. The automotive industry is the pioneer in the implementation of SCM i.e the Toyota manufacturers. Some other industry sectors are described in this section. Harvey and Richey (2001) express his opinion on how to recognize and choose the hybrid distribution managers for the 21st century. They discuss this perspective in the form of 24

global supply chain management that organizations can select globally competent managers. The global supply chain management may have problems related to the cultural or internal organization setups; this may affect the supply chains which are distributed globally. Authors have developed useful criteria for the selection of global supply chain managers, which is based on the competency of the global managers. The different application of supply chain exists in the literature, the agri-food is the one of the existing supply chain in the industry, and these supply chains are based on the supplier and customer processes, Information and communication technology and capability to increase productivity. Van der Vorst and Patterson (2003) lists the some of the successfully examples of agri-food supply chains and transportation for example: Tops fresh vegetables chain in Thailand, the supply chain for beans in Central America, quality management in the dairy supply chain in Brazil and Thai Fresh project. Al-Mudimigh focused on the value chain management in the industry. They analyze the merits and limitation of Supply chain management by focusing on the awareness of the SCM in the industry. Their study focuses on the ARLA foods which are the supplier of milk and dairy products to the supermarkets in the retail sector. The industry gain advantage from the value chain management. Their vision about value chain is illustrated in the Figure-6. The vision focused on the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) chain management. B2B includes product development, supplier management, transport, warehouse& inventory management and store management while B2C focused on the customer relationship management. B2B is further divided into four management categories these are: product development management, E-procurement management, supply chain management and category management. Moreover, the supply chain management focused on supplier management, transport, warehouse & inventory management, category management and store management. The division of SCM looks reasonable to gain value in chain management. The study of Laeequddin (2009) focused on UAE packaged food industry, They provide extensive survey on the supply chain management in the perspective of UAE food industry. They argued that not a single food industry in the UAE is a risk free in the perspective of supply chain management.


Figure -6: Concept of VCM in ARLA Food (Al-Mudimigh :2004) GS1 Germany and WP7 Partners (2007) describe the Bridge Project: Building Radio frequency Identification solutions for the Global Environment (, which is a well-known project in European industry. The project has different components one of the components is to apply supply chain management in European textile industry. The automation for the textile supply chains are handled by means of RFID technology. Which provides many advantages? In this process each garment item has to pass it on a way from manufacturer to the customer. This whole single process is integrated into one single system. The benefits of implementing RFID are many both for the supply chain and for the sales floor and even for the customer, as this advanced technology provides faster, better and reliable information flow between sales floor, distributor, manufacturer and provides better services for the customer. This also adds value in the garments design as per customer needs. The only disadvantages to this technology the customers privacy which should be addressed properly. The supply chain has been already implemented in different industry sector, one of the major industries Oil and Gas has taken advantage of chain process. Hoffman (2004) illustrates two important case studies in this sector. He described that these two case studies are fully integrated with supply-chain management process. The ConocoPhillips Ekofisk offshore site is located in 200 miles away from Norwegian cost. The X50 well is about 5000 ft horizontally installed that posed a major challenge for the supply-chain manager. The weather conditions are very severe in this central part of Northern Sea, 26

furthermore the weather conditions makes difficult in supply delivery and operations. They used Just in time service that is coordinated with goods planning, ordering, logistics, installation and preparations. With this approach the company completes the well in just 30 days. This same approach ConocoPhillips applied at their largest offshore discovery in China. In this implantation the main challenge was to manage two different casing sizes for regular supply in order to speedup the batch drilling activity. ConocoPhillips accomplished the core logistical requirements for the two tasks at two different locations and environments; moreover this was possible by the training and coordination of their workforce. In both case studies the ConocoPhillips saved 25% in procurement and installation costs. Hsu and Hu (2008) study provides the application of green supply chain management in the electronic industry of Tiawan. Their study revels with generic hierarchal model for decision makers, that can be prioritize as per needs of the supply chain management in Tiawan. Their generic model divided into three dimensions supplier management, product recycling and lifecycle management. The model lacks with feedback loop which is necessary in the supply chains because the relation is not only dependent on only one party. Jaffar (2007) propose an information system with supply chain management for UAE dates industry. The tried to identify the main challenges faced by the UAE dates industry and tried to align with the use of modern information systems integrated with supply chain management processes. They also argue that transformation of industry from manual process to the automated process is a challenging task and is a lengthy process to utilize the full benefits of supply chain process. This study also ensures that supply chain in UAE is not new but the industry does not take full advantages of supply chain due to manual chain processes.


The Role of Supply chain in Construction Industry:

The manufacturing industry is the pioneer industry which introduces the concept of SCM as a new and important tool to perform the business process in a systematic and well defined way to save time, enhance quality and realize profit Tan, (2001). For the construction industry the SCM concept is not new, this was introduced in the construction based industry in 1980 Akintoye et al. (2000), however this industry still have not fully 27

adopts SCM as business process. The construction industry SCM processes are scattered and are partially adopted. Therefore the literature focused on the roles, responsibilities of supply chain management in the construction industry and to explore the successful implementation of SCM and lesson learn by the different industry sectors. The building and construction industry can be divided into three main categories: building construction; heavy engineering construction and trade construction; While building construction can be further divided into residential and non-residential for example commercial and industrial building. Akintoye (2000) conducted a survey on supply chain management in UK construction industry and they argue that there exists partnership relationship among contractors, suppliers and clients; they only focus on the production planning and purchasing factors for the SCM process in construction industry and lists the barriers which can hindrance the successful process of SCM in construction industry. Vrijhoef and Koskela (2000) discussed four roles of supply chain management as described in the figure-7. These four roles in construction industry can be recognized based on the focus of the industry either construction site or supply chain or even both. The authors claimed these roles have major impact on the construction industry.

Figure-7 Four Role of SCM in Construction Industry (Vrijhoef and Koskela :2000) For example rule 1 focus on the interface between the supply chain and the construction site, the main impact of this rue is to reduce the costs and duration of site activities. These 28

four roles does not seems to be mutually exclusive, while in practice these four roles are simultaneously applied to the supply chains in order to improve the efficiency of SCM processes. Welling and Kamann (2001) suggest that building and construction industry supply chains can be at firm level or project level. The firm level can provide stable and long term supply chains on the other hand project level supply chain are mostly temporary because their durations are already fixed. Dubois and Gadde (2002) describe firm level as permanent networks while project level chains are described as a loose coupling. Love (2002) identified the partnership relationship related to the alliances, which can be either strategic or project based. The project based alliances are more towards short term alliances for the temporary projects while the strategic alliances focuses on the long term partnership relationship for the large projects and the alliance is based on more than one project. Hence the partnership relationship plays vital role in building and construction industry which develops the trust and commitment. Saad 2002) provides a review on the adoption of SCM in construction industry and suggest that construction experts has some knowledge of SCM, but still they need more attention towards the implementation of SCM by increasing their conceptual understanding and how new SCM can be implemented systematically. The researchers suggest that every domain has its own requirements and management structure therefore the SCM should be defined differently in different domains. The SCM particularly in the building and construction industry deals with management of materials and also has the relation between contractors, suppliers and distributors (Titus and Brchner (2005)). Briscoe and Dainty (2005) recommended the most common characteristics for structural projects for the construction industry, which make hindrances to make fully utilize of supply chain in construction projects, for example one-off projects, the project which are located on different sites ( i.e geographically dispersed) and also the high fragmentation, which is a natural characteristic of any construction project, Khalfan (2007) presents the different views on the building trust among supply chain participants in the construction projects. They argue that trust among participants in supply chain may be affected by the cultural change. However cultural change must be reflected at all levels, especially the middle managers, supervisors and foreman. 29

The more recent research results of Davis (2008) indicates that building and construction industry and even other industry partnerships are now a days moving towards the relationship marketing. Errasti (2007) argued that partnership relationship will become the precondition of doing business in construction industry. Mustafa (2009) provides partnering related problems and resolution in the Malaysian construction industry. He argued that still Mali construction industry is not mature and facing partnering problems, while [Jap(2001); Chan (2003); Ng; Handfield] identifies the barriers in partnering relationship for example project

environment, personal knowledge, skill and attitude may become barriers in partnering relationship. El-Saboni (2007) and El-Saboni investigates the success of the construction projects in UAE are based on modern electronic communication management system. They provide a state of art on the usage of modern communication technologies in construction industry and also they investigate how these modern system influence the relationship of different project team members. (2010) studies the performance of construction projects in Malaysia; their research is based on quantitative data collection and through questionnaire surveys. In addition, they argue that Malaysian industry is still infancy to adopt the partnering approach their partnering approach is still local based this may be due to the influence of the culture. Soemardi explains the application of SCM in the Indonesian construction industry. They argue that the SCM processes in Indonesian construction industry are still in infancy or the SCM processes are not adopted at all. However their study is starting points towards the application of SCM in Indonesian construction industry, there still need more research in this area. Barkhi and Daghfous (2009) study shows the application of TQM, SCM and CRM implementations in the UAE hotels. UAE also attracts tourist in the, with increase of tourist in the UAE, hotel managements four to five star category hotels have realized the benefits of the supply chain management. This case is a unique case and has relevance to the application of SCM in a UAE industry. Figure-8 shows the qualifications and consequences of TQM, CRM and SCM implementation in UAE hotel industry. From the implementation it has been clearly identified that SCM increases the operation efficiency, 30

so it does not only provide relationship management with the contractor and supplier but has an overall impact on the efficiency of the services delivered by the hotel management.

Figure -8 Antecedents and Consequences of TQM, CRM and SCM Implementation. ( Barkhi and Daghfous :2009 )


Current Status of UAE Construction Industry

The application of SCM in UAE construction industry is still infancy, most of the researchers focus on the business process projects and little or no research has been done on UAE construction industry. As SCM is not a new concept in the business community and for the UAE construction industry, the researchers from neighboring countries for example Saudi Arabia have focused on the SCM application in construction industry but still there approaches did not get any attention by the construction experts. They are still using traditional methods to manage the industry processes. Zaneldin (2006) study emphasis on the construction claims in the UAE, additionally he identifies the types, causes and the frequency of the claims happened in the UAE industry. They focus on the two emirates that holds about 78% of all the investments in the UAE as shown in figure-9.


Figure -9 Percentage of investment in all emirates in UAE. (Zaneldin :2006) Another Study related to UAE construction industry conducted by El-Sayegh ( 2007) based on the risk assessment of UAE construction industry. He argued that UAE construction industry has significant risks related to unrelated construction schedule, changes happened improperly in the design, political, social and cultural risks also has an influence the UAE construction industry. Their study suggests that risks should share between contractor and owner but the Owner of the construction industry in UAE are more reluctant to share the risks with the contractors. UAE is investing huge amount in construction of most modern and highly innovated infrastructure projects. The industry is growing day by day, new and modern buildings are constructed with almost modern facilities. The main advantage in this market is the large investment from public and private sector. UAE has overtaken the construction market in the region in 2008 Gulf Construction (2010) as shown in figure10 and 11. At present UAE construction market in the region is accounted nearly 20.3% of total GCC construction industry in comparison with Saudi, Algeria and Egypt. Salama and habib (2009) conducted their study before economic crisis of 2008. Their study was based on to identify the causes of variation in construction projects in UAE market. Their result indicates that the time and cost are the main factors of variation in UAE construction market; this is due to the decision making problems happen in the UAE market. These results also reflected the gap between supply and demand in construction projects. The year 2009 was the global financial misery year, 32

despite the fact the construction growth was slower compared to previous years but it has managed to GDP growth up to 8% of the country in 2009. The recent figure shows that US$ 999 billion are already invested in 2644 construction projects which is reasonable investment in this sector. Wood (2009) published an online article, which focus on the future of construction projects in 2012 with a positive and stable construction market of the world. Another research report published online by Companies and Markets (2010) for the future of construction in UAE, the report

focused on the segmentation based on the prediction of sales and market of the construction projects and also provide the analysis of leading UAE construction companies.


Figure -10 Highlights the Country Comparison with other GCC countries in terms budget value. (Source: Gulf Construction 2010 year Book)

Figure-11: Highlights the Status current Projects being carried out in UAE (Source: Gulf Construction 2010 year Book) The UAE construction industry still running the traditional chain process and little or no use of modern chain process for example SCM, hence more research is needed to fulfill 34

this gap especially in UAE construction industry. If we compare UAE construction industry with other countries in the world, we will notice that supply chain processes are adopted by very small amount of the building and construction industry. This is fact that construction industry is little bit hard domain for the SCM due to the temporary life cycle of the projects.



The objective of supply chain is to improve the relationship among the chain partners, thus it improves the trust and collaborations which are the main factors for any potential value of the management for example building and construction projects. From the literature review, It has been observed that in supply chain environment two or more organizations independently to work jointly can align their processes, in order to gain more value for end customer, however this can only work if organization involve should act as a single entity that means organizations must collaborate intensively. The organizations involved in supply chain processes have no any other argument to work and agreed on joint decision making to enhance their profits, for this they should share the responsibilities and create sustainable competitive advantages. Although trust and information exchange between manufacturers and suppliers are the key factors in the supply chains. Just in time information provided to the supplier in real time makes possible to handle the requests for the raw materials, without further delaying the production and avoiding the stocks, however this can only be possible when members are collaborate from the similar culture, which means that the partners should collaborate intensively. Furthermore, we can conclude from the state of the art that SCM is not a new concept for the construction industry, because of the temporary nature of the construction projects; SCM has not been fully adopted in the building and construction industry sector. In the literature review, the studies from Zaneldin (2006) and El-Sayegh ( 2007) can be taken as base studies in the UAE construction industry, these studies does not show any relevant information about supply chain processes but they represents that How UAE industry is involved in the construction industry what type of risks they are facing. The lack of data on the supply chain processes in UAE industry is significance in the literature review. To collect a data related to UAE construction industry, we need to adopt data collection 35

methods based on the personal interviews or based on the questionnaire surveys as suggested by Gillham (2000) that quality research can only be delivered by adopting good and reliable data collected methods.



Chapter 3: Research Methods


Research technique is a way or tool to approach or conduct the research process. The specific tools adopted together with method of collecting data become methodology. This chapter gives complete understanding and explanation of the research techniques and the reason to choose the particular technique for my dissertation.

The different research techniques are explained and outlined as follows.

Figure-12 The Cyclical Nature of Action Research (Denscome 2003:76) Naoum (2003) describe research methodology as a action plan to identify the research problems and their proposed solutions The purpose of collecting research data is to confirm or refute the hypotheses detailed in chapter 1 and summarized above.


The initial task of any research is based on the data collection, and that data is then statistically validated to proof of the research but this depends upon the data collection methods, a survey based study does not provide the tools for the collection of data but again it depends whether the data is qualitative or quantitative, then one can decide about tools for collection of that data type. The survey based studies always performed by asking questions and then question are analyzed statistically to get significant results. This is done by applying empirical analysis methods and techniques, where qualitative research is focused on observation of irregularities in the patterns and commonalities, get response from the people by asking simple questions, report analysis Fitzpatrick (1998). It all depends on the surveyor, who will compile those results Lester (1999). For construction management research Naoum (2003) identified that the main options for research to obtain data inform of questionnaire or the personal interviews. The following flow chart highlights the research methods. 3.2 Qualitative Research Technique (QRT)

This technique is adopted when any research carried out through observation or unstructured questionnaire Performa. QRT is often viewed as Soft approach. The three most common qualitative methods are practiced which are; Direct Observation In-depth interviews Focus groups

The types of data generated through above mentioned methods are field notes, audio/video recording and transcripts. The following flow chart classifies qualitative research technique more in a systematic way.


Classification of Qualitative Research Procedures

Qualitative Research Procedures

Direct (Nondisguised)

Indirect (Disguised)

Focus Groups

Depth Interviews

Projective Techniques

Association Techniques

Completion Techniques

Construction Techniques

Expressive Techniques

(Source: Family health international: A data collectors field guide) The advantage of the above technique is the use of questions in a very simple manner, and the participants get involved and tried to answer those questions without any trouble. The questionnaire is designed in a simple way and some interesting questions are added to get fully involved the participants in the survey. The survey can be conducted by making online website and by sending the survey questionnaire by post or by electronic mail, which suits best for the proposed survey domain. If we look at the limitation of this technique, one can say that its very time consuming, too many things to observe, and its difficult to observe the root cause of the problem. 3.3 Qualitative Research Technique (QNRT)

Quantitative research technique (QNRT) is a statistical analysis; in this method a questionnaire is designed and sent to the relevant Companies or conducting direct interview (Sanchez, 2006). This technique is elastic and simple, it only require complete perceptive of the significance of the survey, which should be communicated to the participants, the logical design of questionnaire is also an important factor in the survey to get proper feedback from the participants, which support the literature review being carried out. Naoum (2003) defined QNRT as a method of calculating situations, for estimation or for observation of the desired problems using scientific experiments. In addition to this he explains that quantitative research technique is more powerful to get 39

practical and significant value for the objects and also it gives clear picture to observe, access the phenomenon of association between the various relationship facts and their association with theories and conclusion of research conducted in the literature.


Selected Method for Data Collection

The time factor to undertake the personal interviews and limited number of companies that could be canvassed were the main reasons to adopt this method for our research. Ideally a combination of questionnaires (by email or snail mail) and in-depth detailed interviews would have been used if time allowed. The postal questionnaire is considered to be the cost efficient and less time consuming to organize and execute. The use of SCM is limited and the firms targeted for information are spread throughout the UAE, making interviews an unworkable option.


Table-3 Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Approaches [Source: Family Health International: A data collectors field guide]
The key difference between both approaches is their flexibility. Generally quantitative techniques are comparatively rigid, with this approach the participants are focused and fixed to questions asked and it often treated as Closed end approach which gives researcher a easy way to analyze the data received from the different participants and it allows the researcher for meaningful comparison for asking the identical questions to all


participants, the importance of the question is necessary in the survey and try to get involve the participants to get maximum responses. Keeping in view of above comparison of two approaches and analysis of both , a quantitative research technique is selected in this dissertation, and a comprehensive questionnaire is designed which covers the following points taking into account of the thoroughly reviewed literature and basic fundamentals of SCM as discussed in Chapter-2 of this dissertation. Designing of questionnaire (See Annexure-A) is done in such a manner to take minimum efforts in filling the questionnaire and to get the maximum possible input, and understanding of contractors in U.A.E construction environment, regarding current SCM prototypes, its benefits, future use and obstacles to implementation in U.A.E, the responses received from different construction companies through fax, email gathered and analysis is presented in chapter-4 of this paper, the data is analyzed inform of the percentage responses and presented in the tables. Chapter-5 outlines the conclusion in conjunction on the data received and thorough analysis of the same and future recommendation also given in the same chapter.


Questionnaire Design

The outlook and content of survey is responsible and also provide key role on the responses from the participants of the survey. A bad designed survey contains poor or meaningless questions in the survey which becomes raw information and survey may be affected by the meaningless questions. Taking this important note the structure and outline of the questionnaire is prepared in conjunction with purpose, aims and objectives of this dissertation as explained in Chapter 1. (Refer Appendix-A for complete

questionnaire structure).
The design and purpose of the survey, via the distributed questionnaire, was to extract opinion of UAE Contractors regarding SCM. The questionnaire comprising of 5 pages (see Annexure-A) was given to the selected contractor firms. A survey questionnaire should be chosen according to the suitable medium for data collection. Once the outline and concept of the questionnaire is prepared then its quite easy to finalize the content of the questions to be asked to the most related and reputed 42

Construction Companies who are in the process or have already implemented the SCM Concept in their organizations. Most relevant questions were selected to obtain suitable responses for the analysis. The actual content of each question was carefully checked to guarantee transparency and meaning of the questions for the respondent to reply in very efficient and in less time. Answers should be uniform that comparison can be done easily. Naoum (2003) recommends avoiding duplication, arrogant and theoretical questions. The questionnaire comprises of twelve short queries. For the purpose of clarity and help the contractors with better understanding of SCM concept, the questionnaire begins by defining SCM and thereby obtains more reliable answers to the queries. In order to get maximum possible response, the questionnaire is designed in a simple and logical manner and designed to take no more that quarter of an hour to be completed, keeping in mind the demanding schedule of contractors and project engineers completing the survey. The three sections covered in the questionnaire include following type of the questions:

Background information Coordinated relationship among contractors and all stakeholders in the project Importance of SCM in organizations Main goals to construct supply chain Important factors for successful implementation of SCM Functions within construction which contractors consider important for efficient SCM

Factors which contractors consider important when forming supply chain relationship


Obstacles to SCM implementation

Questionnaire Outline:

The figure 13 represents the outline of questionnaire, Question numbers 1 to 5 are designed to provide broad-spectrum information about the contractor, Q1 deals with the size of the company, for example how many employees are working in the company?, Its a basic question to start with the survey, that participants interest should not be lost during the survey, this type of question help in starting the survey and it is also relevant to our research in the sense that how many big companies have


participated in the survey. Q2 deals with experience of the company, which is also relevant to our research, this ensure the age of the company in UAE market.Q3 is bit a tricky question, where exact information may not be possible but approximate values will also gives us an indication that company is going in profit or not. Q4 is basically starting towards the supply chain to know how companies think about the cost saving characteristics of SCM. Q5 deals with the duration of project, the gives us indication about the company is either interested into long term projects or short term projects. So this will help us in to identify the supply chain implementation in small project and long term projects for small or big companies. Q6 deals with effectiveness of the management, to get feedback from the project managers; this ensures the project management skills of the company. Q7 deals with SCM characteristics regarding the time saving, which also ensures that time saving is a good characteristics for the SCM or not, how survey participants thinks. Q8 ensure the how supply chains are used in the current industry that presents good indicator for our research. Q9 deals with the relation of supply chain to the participants business; this also ensures the usage of the supply chain in current UAE industry. Q10 deals with the SCM function, how participants rate different SCM functions in their industry. Question numbers 11 to 12 describes the coordinated relationship of contractors among their clients or suppliers and tried to identify major hindrances in the execution of SCM in UAE built environment industry. Q13 deals with main objective of the SCM, how participants rates different objective in accordance to their industry. Q14 deals with the main obstacles and difficulties facing by participants in effective implementation of supply chain management process.



SCM RELEVANCE (Questions 6 - 10)


- No. of Employees - Type of Projects - Turn Over - Time in construction industry

- Team building - Benefits with Clients - Benefits with Suppliers - SCM Implementation Objectives

- Implementation Factors - Obstacles in SCM Implementation

Figure -13: Questionnaire outline.


Sample Survey

Sample or prototype survey are necessary to get involved the participants and tries to conduct survey more efficient way and number of responses also may increase if the questions are designed in the way that the participants interest increases in the survey. To avoid any potential conflicts in data collection and after carefully considering the different angles of the research theme, only UAE construction companies were selected for the survey. To make authenticate survey, a list of construction companies were obtained from the U.A.E Chamber of Commerce. Medium to large enterprise

construction contractors operating in U.A.E were carefully chosen from the list and included in the survey.



Information Gathering

Owing to the large number of construction companies in UAE and variation both in terms of nature of work and size of the company; it was difficult and unworkable to obtain a probability sample; further complicated by constraints of time and resources. The questionnaire was distributed to the UAE contractors via email and fax; of which 18 replies were received, amounting to an approximate 90% response. Most of the

participants completed the survey and responded via fax and the remaining respondents survey received either by email or by telephonic interview. The survey results are then compiled and static analysis has been done by using Microsoft Excel. For the analysis of data collected from the survey, the response has been counted for each question. To compute the response rate for each question, response count is divided by the total number of respondent.

R.R ( %) = (R.C / NR) x 100

Where as; R.R = Response Rate R.C = Response Count NR = Total number of Respondent Firms


Data Analysis

The complete data is statistically analyzed from as per response received from different respondents. The results are shown in tabular form, which represent the percentage of responses of each question asked. Any discrepancy within the questioning is noted in the written analysis of the results. The data analysis is shown in tabular and graphical format.

3.10 Graphs
The data representation in graphs is an excellent way to display the results. In fact the researcher always tries to represents their data into graphical formats. There are different types of graphs, which can be considered based on the data type and for the effective results representation. Generally Bar graphs provides good representation of the data, other type of graphs pie charts and vertical or horizontal bar graphs can be used to


represents the results. However there is no particular difference between vertical or horizontal bar graphs. Pie chart represents the categorical data for example for our questionnaire, the questions based on the yes or no. some what or successfully implemented, sure or not sure can be easily represented by pie charts. Other questions like experience, annual turnover and so on can also be represented by the pie charts. Each segment of the pie chart will than represents the particular category. The advantage of using pie chart is that it shows the component part as a whole and the segments are clearly visualized and easy to predicate the graph results. On the other hand bar graph represents the information using series of bars, rectangles or objects. The bar of the graph can be visualized vertically or horizontally. The bar graph basically used to represents the discontinuous or discrete data therefore Q10-Q14 can easily be represented by the bar graph. To best use of our methodology, the data representation is an essential part of the any empirical research. For our research analysis, we represents the data in tabular as well as in graphical format. Therefore we will use both pie charts for continuous data and bar charts for discontinuous or discrete data for our survey analysis.

3.11 Conclusion
This chapter provides the methodology which we adopted for this research and selection of empirical research for the investigation and explains the vital importance of the questionnaire. The design and construction of the questionnaire was described in terms of format and question development. The research survey sample was also detailed along with a brief outline of the proposed data analysis.



Chapter 4: Data Collection and Analysis


The techniques applied for the data collection have major impact on the significance of the final results of the research. Therefore care must be taken when deciding the data collection methods. In chapter-3 we have already discussed in details, how and which data collection is suitable for our research. The following two methods we have adopted for our data collection: Personal Interviews by face to face or on telephonic talk or by sending the questionnaire to the corresponding person in the organization. The most of the response we got by email or snail mail, during our telephonic interviews the companies were bit reluctant to provide information. In our data collection effort we selected 20 top most reputed construction companies in the UAE, from which 18 companies responds positively to our efforts and participated in the survey. In this chapter we will analyze all the data collected during our survey.


Results and Discussions

The questionnaire contains 14 different questions for example questions related to background information is to know the employee strength of the companies, annual turnover, experience related to construction projects and how they implement supply chain, advantage and disadvantage of supply chain and so on. The results of each question are described in tables and graphs as follows:

Section-1: Background Information (Question 1 to 5)

The questions 1 to 5 are related to the companys basic background information. It is necessary in the survey not to start with the objective questions related to the research. To involve more persons in the survey it is necessary to ask some basic questions that help them to start the survey. These basic questions also help us to ensure that respondent is from the correct domain, for which we are conducting the survey. We start with the basic question to know the employee strength of the company. It is necessary to know how big is the organization which is supporting or adopting the supply chain management process. The results are shown in both tabular and in graphical 48

format. The tabular form of the result is a detailed form of the results for each choice for the question. From the results of question 1, it can be easily conclude that more than 50% of the respondent of this survey are from big organization, whose employee strength is more than 300. Other response results are also reasonable, which shows that the medium and small organizations also participated in this survey.


Q2 is also related to the basic information of the organization, which is related to know
the experience of the organization in UAE construction market. This basic question also helps us to get opinion form the big and experienced construction companies in a UAE market. The results of question 2 further verified our approach that the more than 50% of the survey participants are experienced and are involved in UAE market since last 10-15 years. The results are shown by tables and graphs below.


Q3 is related to know the participants annual turnover. The participants were little bit
reluctant to share this information but due to the nature of the research they provide us the approximate values, which further validates the size and income of the survey participants, the question is still falls into a basic category of the question we asked. More than 60% of survey participants annual turnover is more than 50 million US dollars and only 22.2% participants annual turnover is around 10 million US dollar. This gives us more confident those survey participants organizations are running in profits. The literature review section 2.3 also gives the references of Egan report of rethinking construction which describes the benefits in increase in annual turnover, productivity and reduction in project duration, reduction in capital cost and defects by adopting the correct methods and tools of SCM.


Q4 is the starting point to get involve the participant in the survey by asking a basic
question to know if he has already adopted the Supply chain or he know about the supply chain processes. We ask a simple question do you support that SCM can help to save cost? Approximately 78% of the respondent of the survey support that Supply chain can help them to save cost. Thats means supply chain processes have great impact on the saving cost and it is discussed in the literature review section 2.3 which outlines and give reference of Egan report which says that by adopting proper SCM tools , organization can reduce capital cost and enhance the productivity which results in high annual turnover for the organizations. The organization considered the saving cost as characteristic of the supply chain. Only 11% each of the survey participants were either does not support SCM or they do not still sure that cost saving can be the characteristic for the supply management process. The following table and graphs shows these conclusions.


Q5 is related to the duration of the projects. This question has very much relevance to
SCM concept to know about the project duration for example how much time the organizations take to complete a single project in order to give us a feel that if companies has adopted the SCM tools in carrying out the construction work or not. The section 2.3 of the literature review explains that SCM concept can significantly reduce the project duration and it is further explained by Egan report which suggest 10% reduction in capital cost and reduction in project duration if the SCM concept are properly implemented. The results shows that almost all participants have answered this question and validated that big companies approximately 40% are involved in long term project which are more than 3 years duration and also we have companies which took less duration for example approximately 28% of the respondent think that they finish project in 1-2 years and even small nature of projects are taken by the survey participants. If we conclude from question 1-5 for the basic information: It is clear that almost all types of the construction organizations have participated in the survey and even their businesses are running in profits and they all are covering the UAE markets as well.



Section-II Supply Chain Management Relevance to the Organization (Question 610)

The questions 6-10 are asked from the participants to know how they have adopted supply chains in their current organizations. Do they have any good or bad experiences in their processes? Or there any barriers they are facing in implementation of the SCM. If they have not yet implemented will they implement in future. What characteristics of the SCM they will consider. The result of each question is analyzed below:

Q6 is related to the basic information of the supply chain management process for
example do they have team building sessions, arrange meetings with their clients and vendor during the implementation phases. To adopt successful supply chain management process it is necessary to have communication between the client and vendor and even with the different building teams, who are involved in the implementation of the project.


The results of question 6 indicate that more than 55% of the survey participants are having monthly meetings to the concerned persons of the project during the implementation phase which is not very good sign for the proper execution of any job or project. This results shows that there is huge communication gap between the customer and other related project teams. For successful implementation of supply chain it is necessary to have the regular meetings with the project teams and the client. The 56% of the respondent were not sure about the duration of the meeting, these shows that either they are not involved in the project meeting sessions or they do not want to share this information. In Section 2.3 of literature review Harman (2000) explains the barriers in implementation of SCM in which communication and interaction between the teams is a major issue. The proper communication between the supply team members can enhance the quality of work, reduce project duration and also can play a significant part in avoiding the repetitive work


Q7 is related to the quality of construction project, by taking view of the respondent how
they think quality as a characteristic of the efficient supply chain management. The significance of this question is also linked to literature review section 2.3 and 2.4 in which the reference of Egans report is highlighted which mentions the advantages of proper implementation of SCM tools to reap the benefits of SCM concept. The survey response was very much positive about 67% of the survey respondent thinks that SCM can boost the quality of the construction project and saves lot of management time but still 33% of the survey respondent were not supportive to the quality characteristic for the SCM. This might be interesting to know why they think that SCM can not boost the quality of construction project or save management time.


Q8 is interesting question to know how construction organizations select the supplier do

they have any system for the selection, if yes how they select vendor or supplier based on the supply chain. Approximately 67% agreed on the recommendation process, which they use for the selection of supplier and vendor. This is how the construction projects differ in the nature of other projects because the construction projects are based on partnership and recommendation plays an important role in the construction companies. Akintoye (2000) also argued that there exists partnership relationship among contractors, suppliers and clients in their survey.


Q9 is asked to the survey participants to know whether they have already implemented
the supply chain management or not, if yes does it fulfill your requirements in efficient way? We got an interesting results for this questions as about 56% think that they have successfully implemented the supply chain and getting benefits from it, but did not tell us what type of the supply chain they are adopting. On other hand approximately 44% of the survey participants think that they are either in process of the implementation or partially adopted the SCM process. The Proper system in place inside the organizations not only saves the time but gives more boost to enhance the company reputation in the market, this questions also relates to our literature review in which lamber and Cooper (2000) also emphasized on the SCM process inside the organizations.


Q10 is asked in survey to know which SCM functions are most important to internal
organization of their company. The six functions were considered for rating, which were most relevant to the internal organization of the supply chain for example production, procurement, operation, storage, inventory and other (if they do have). In which production 61%, 89% procurement, 50% operation, 78% inventory strongly support these functions as considered to be an internal organization functions. The procurement looks most favorable to be considered as a internal SCM function. Approximately 44% of the survey participants have some what or partially support the operation as a SCM function. These basic information reflects how the participants of the survey adopted the Supply chain, does they get full or partial advantage from SCM. Ayres (2010) listed view points for supply chain management; the list shows that Procurement view point is focused by incoming supplier and the supply chain executives. The participants of the survey also rated high percentage to the procurement.



Section-III Implementation and Barriers in Adopting SCM (11-14)

The section III of the survey from Question 11 to 14 focused on the implementation and barriers facing by construction companies for the adoption of supply chain management as a tool. The analysis of each question is explained below:

Q11 focused on the SCM features related to the client, approximately 72% of the
participants of survey strongly support the cost benefits as a SCM function related to the client, while approximately 47% each of the survey participants strongly support the ease of tendering process and ease of design processes. On other hand approximately 59% and 50% some what or partially support the ease of construction processes and achieve standardizations SCM features. 24% still not sure about the ease of design process for the SCM feature and interestingly to note that only approximately 6 to 7% some what or partially differ with the ease of design processes and achieve standardizations. The literature review also supports this questions as per Gulf Construction (2010) magazine close contact with all stakeholders always enhance construction performance of the project.



Q12 is related to the SCM features which are important with relation to the supplier and
to know whether partnering plays any important role in SCM. The SCM features related to the supplier are better quality service, cost benefits, simplify the construction process, simplify the ordering process or another were considered. The results shows that approximately 67% strongly support the better quality service as SCM feature with relation to the supplier, on other hand approximately 28% some what or partially support this feature, however approximately 6% are still not sure that quality service can be an important SCM feature with relation to the supplier. The another SCM feature cost benefits with relation to the supplier is rated by the participants of the survey as follows, approximately 61% strongly supports on other hand approximately 28% some what or partially support this feature, however 11% is still not sure that cost benefits could be the important SCM feature with relation to the supplier. The third feature Simplify the construction process is strongly supported by approximately 47% of the participants, on other hand same number i.e 47% some what or partially support this feature, however approximately 6% survey participants were still not sure about this SCM feature relation with the supplier. Partnering technique is of utmost important in SCM and it is seen in the respondents replies as 67% percent supports the SCM related to partnering. Parker & D'Vaz (1997) suggest that partnering is the main focus for the organization to realize maximum benefits by working jointly and therefore it has much relevance to SCM, however its is quite complicated to establish correlation between the use of partnering and SCM management, particularly as Latham (1994) and Egan (1998) both emphasized and promoted the use of partnering in their respective reports. We can confidently say that any organization that operates SCM also uses the concept of partnering and it is seen from the survey as well. The results suggest that though certain techniques are not a pre-requisite when implementing SCM they perhaps form part of modern management required within today's construction industry.



In Q13 we tried to get main objective of adopting SCM in their organization, the participants of the survey responded as approximately 72% strongly supports supplier quality assurance and benefits to the clients as well as the main objective of the SCM. This shows that the participants supports quality assurance and benefits to the clients as a main objective of SCM , while only 22% each partially supports this, however approximately 6% still not sure about the quality assurance and benefits to the client as well as a main objective of the SCM in their organizations. Approximately 42% each strongly and partially supports that SCM can increase competitiveness, however approximately 12% still not sure, while approximately 6% some what differ that increase competitiveness as a main objective of the SCM in their organizations. Approximately 53% strongly supports that SCM benefits to the supplier, while 47% partially supports. An increase profit is another main objective of SCM considered by the participants, approximately 59% strongly supports, while approximately 35% partially supports, however approximately 6% are still not sure about this objective in their organization. Each 44% strongly support to the decrease paper work and cost reduction while 33-37% partially support, however 11-19% are not sure. On other hand 11% still some what differ that SCM decreases paper work in their organization. Approximately 62% strongly support the supply chain reduction, while 31% and 6% each some what differ and not sure respectively for this SCM feature in their organization. Van der vost (2007) outlines the benefits of Supply chain management in comparison to traditional management Anderson also suggested the seven points of SCM in which each tool can enhance revenue, growth of any organizations and significant reduction in cost if these principles are adopted in right manner.



Q14 is an important question and has relation to the obstacles and difficulties facing
during the implementation of SCM in their organizations. The results indicates that approximately 57% strongly supports that management non-commitment is the main obstacle they are facing while implementing SCM in their organizations, while 22% partially supports this, however 5.6% are still not sure about this obstacle, 11% some what differ and even approximately 6% strongly differ this. Another difficultly or obstacle facing by the organization is lack of conceptual understanding of the SCM concepts approximately 44% strongly support, while 31% some what support, however 25% are still not sure about this difficultly or not faced yet this difficulty in their organization. Approximately 50% strongly support that they have inefficient organization structure which makes difficulty in implementing SCM in their organizations, while approximately 28% some what support this. On the other hand approximately 6% and 17% some what and strongly differ respectively that they had efficient organizational structure to build SCM in their organization. The partnering non-commitment also influence on SCM adoption in which approximately 53% strongly supports non-commitment partner relationship, while approximately 6% some what support, however approximately 29% are still not sure. On other hand 6% each some what and strongly differ respectively with this SCM obstacle. There may be some unclear strategic benefits in SCM, which might not be fully adopted, approximately 31% of the participants strongly supports this difficultly while approximately 44% some what support and approximately 12% each not sure or some what differ that there may be some unclear strategic benefits in adopting SCM. Today modern technologies are adopting in every domain, so the supply chain can be fully integrated with the Supply chain management tools to get full benefits of the supply chain processes and this can save time and money. But poor IT infrastructure may become obstacle for the companies to adopt fully SCM in their organizations and this aspect of the questions is also discussed in literature review in which as per Simchi Levis et al (2000) suggest that EDI plays a very important role in linking the business portal with the business associates to make sure the accuracy of data exchange between the organizations. Approximately 29% strongly support, while 47% some what support and approximately 6% each are still not sure or some what differ, however approximately 12% strongly differ that Poor-IT infrastructure can influence on the SCM processes.




Problems Faced during Survey

It is always hard to get involve more people or companies in the survey. To overcome this we designed our survey in three sections: Background information, SCM relevance to their organization and Barrier they are facing during the implementation of the SCM. From the results, it has been observed that they do not face any difficulty to answer the questions. The negligible amount of questions have been unanswered or left out. This makes more confident, when analyzing the survey results. But before analysis of the survey we need to adopt suitable method to get involve more companies in the survey. There were different methods which we look to get more people involved in the survey. Four methods we considered and selected only two of them.

Make a webpage for online survey and get involved the people :- This was difficult and time consuming for the construction companies, the most of the key persons which needs to be involved in the survey, travel a lot i.e visit frequently their project construction site and were not interested in the online survey.

Face to face Interviews: - This was also difficult and time consuming because we not able to get an appointments from the senior management from their busy schedule and mobility of their jobs.

Telephonic Interviews:- Some of the participants agreed and participated in the survey via telephonic interviews.

Snail mail or email: Some of the participants were participated via email or snail mail and fax. They were more comfortable to share their information by snail mail.

The most of the companies were reluctant to share the finical data of their project or annual turnover of their companies, and provides approximate turn over for their companies. The questionnaire was sent to 20 top most construction companies in UAE, from which 18 responded with their positive feedback. The responded companies were much

interested to know the results of the survey as they were interested to know much about the Supply chain adoption in UAE market.



Findings of the Survey

The companies put real efforts into to provide the reasonable answers to our survey and the results are positive. The companies were committed to improve their supply chain management processes in future. The cost benefits approximately 72% was strongly supported by the participants of the survey, which indicates that the companies already know the cost benefits of the efficient supply chain process. The ordering and construction process was strongly supported as a SCM feature by the survey participants. This can be further validated in the study of Tommelein, et al (2003). The main objective of SCM is identified in the survey for UAE construction industry, in which SCM can increase profit and reduce the cost. The construction projects are based on fragmentation nature, the profit can be increase to reduce the cost with in organization by segmenting the services based on their requirements. This has been validated in the study of Anderson (2007). The additional SCM objectives to improve customer services by improving the IT infrastructure, which has great impact on the supply chain processes. The UAE construction market is still progressing in this area by adopting ERP solutions, Inventory or warehouse management, Automatic order management solutions, supply chain execution systems, some advance planning systems and so on. The some barrier are still influenced the adoption of supply chain management from traditional approaches for example in our survey Q14 indicates different obstacle and difficulties faced by the UAE construction market. The most important is management non-commitment, which may include non serious ness to the supply chain, lack of trust, philosophical differences as they come from traditional processes to supply chain processes, poor communication and the lack of leadership may lead to the noncommitment of management. This has been further validated in the study of Khalfan (2007). The lack of understanding of the SCM process is other barriers identified in the survey Sand et. Al (2000). Non-commitment partner is also having major impact on the SCM process Love (2002) and Ali (2010). Poor IT infrastructure is already discussed in the literature have major influence on the supply chain processes. The finding of the survey shows that the UAE construction market is still in its childhood and needs lot to do to improve their supply chain process.


CHAPER 5: Conclusions and Recommendations



The findings of this research Supply Chain Management in UAE construction Industryare summarized in this chapter. The most current and relevant literature review has been conducted in the relation to the supply chain management and their application in construction industry. Based on the findings on the literature review a questionnaire was designed to get actual information of the application of supply chain management in the UAE construction industry. This chapter presents the findings along with the researchers recommendations for adoption of SCM in UAE construction Industry.


Conclusion General Summary

The supply chain management in a construction and building organizations is bit complex to understand, which involved multiple functional departments or areas that must be considered when adopting SCM as a tool, these are: procurement (purchasing) of raw material, transportation (logistics), inventory (warehousing) and so on. In our survey Q10 revels the important functions which are strongly supported by UAE construction companies (i.e. the participants of the survey), if we rate them in an order from first to last, the procurement (purchasing) is the most favorable SCM functionality strongly supported by the UAE construction companies, remaining important SCM functionalities are Inventory, Storage, Production and operations. The respondent of the survey also strongly support that SCM can increase profits and reduce cost and also provides better customer services, decreases paper work, improves supplier quality. Which are considered to be the main objectives of the any supply chain process? These questions further validates our approach to know about UAE construction market for example In UAE construction organizations where supply chain management is a part of their business needs annual turnover reflects that the participants organizations are running in profits., they can serve better to the customer.



Dissertation Aims and Objectives Overview

After data collection and analysis of that data presented in Chapter-4, one can easily conclude that the response received from different organizations was very healthy; and the big companies have participated in this survey. The result shows that the most of companies seems to in process of implementing SCM techniques and the companies who already running SCM in their process chain are not fully utilizing the SCM concepts instead they know the major benefits of the supply chain processes. Hence it can be concluded that only those companies who are interested in the use of SCM responded to the questionnaire, which would therefore warp the results of the analysis. However given the close correlation with the findings of detailed literature review as explained in chapter-2 the responses can be said as Valid. In the analysis and verbal discussions with the industry professionals here in UAE it is noted that there is a concern that some of the respondents consider SCM as a 'trendy' topic rather than being suitable to their business. However companies were bit reluctant to share their annual turnover.

Objective No.1: To Review and Critically Appraise the most Relevant and Current Literature on SCM and Determine the Relevance of the Literature in Current Built Environment Industry Practice
The literature review in Chapters 2 appraised the most relevant literature on SCM and its application in UAE construction industry. The literature review is conducted from the year 2000 till date. Form our current literature, we identified that the small number of research focused the application of SCM in UAE market especially in construction industry. We divided our literature review in four parts. 1. The research related to basic and core concepts of SCM. 2. The research related to hindrance or barriers adopting SCM in the industries. 3. The research related to the application of Supply chain in different Industry sector and their lesson learnt. 4. The research related to role of supply chain in construction industry and tries to identify from the literature that How far is the UAE construction industry in adopting SCM process.


Objective No.2: To Identify the Use and Implementation of SCM Concepts in UAE Construction Industry and to Identify the Main Issues in Implementing the SCM in Construction Industry and to Suggest Effective Ways for Improvement of SCM Relationships between Parties (i.e. Contractors, Suppliers and their Clients).
Another objective of this research was to identify the application of SCM construction industry, how SCM has been adopted in the UAE construction industry and also the barriers in adoption of SCM in construction industry, how these relates to UAE industry. With reference to the results of Q.4 and Q7 of chapter 4, approximately 78% and 67% of the respondent of the survey support that Supply chain can help them to save cost and time respectively. This result ensures that the survey participants are well aware of the supply chain advantages and disadvantages. The only small number of survey

participants does not support this. This ensures that only small number of participants does not know actual benefits of SCM. Furthermore the Q9 of chapter 4 was related to know whether the survey participants have already implemented the supply chain management or not, if yes does it fulfill your requirements in efficient way? For this approximately 56% think that they have

successfully implemented the supply chain and getting benefits from it, but did not tell us what type of the supply chain they are adopting. On other hand approximately 44% of the survey participants think that they are either in process of the implementation or partially adopted the SCM process. This ensure that there is still lack of awareness of adopting supply chain in UAE construction market, they do not know exactly, how they should run their supply chain in integrated way to fully utilize its benefits. The results can be

compared to the Laeequddin (2009), whose focus of survey is UAE packaged food industry, their argument seems to be valid in the UAE construction industry, that SCM is not new to the UAE but their implementation of SCM is not a risk free. In literature review [Love (2002); Veludo (2004); Tang, (2006); Errasti,( 2007); Khalfan (2007); Davis (2008); Mustaffa (2009)] identified the

importance of partnering relationship in the construction industry, El-Tawy (2010) and Humphreys (2003) propose agility with supply chain to improve the buyer supplier relationships.


This is also evident as many of the UAE construction giants have already adopted this especially for the construction of F1 formula race track in Abu Dhabi and Metro rail network in Dubai. The overall results show that partnering implementation during procurement with suppliers plays a vital role in the construction. The other main objective of this research was to identify the set backs in the implementation of the Supply chain management concepts in the UAE construction industry. The results of Q14 chapter 4 provides us enough information to identify the set backs of SCM implementation in UAE construction industry for example noncommitment of the management. The management are not serious in adopting supply chains or do not have supply chain with broadest possible vision or management does not vigilant about any changes that happens in the market, which definitely affect any effective supply chain processes. The other non-commitment of management could be the lack of trust, philosophical differences, lack of leadership skills. These barriers are strongly supported by the UAE construction market, which reveals that still leadership or trust related issues, exists in the UAE construction market, which affects the supply chain processes. In our literature review Khalfan (2007) identified different views about the trust building among supply chain participants related to construction projects, which may revel to the non-commitment of the management, which might affected by the cultural change, however this should be reflected to all levels of supply chains management. In our survey, the lack of conceptual understanding of the supply chain process is identified as another set back in the implementation of the supply chain in UAE construction organizations. Sand et. Al (2000) also verifies this set back in their study, specifically related to construction companies, thats seems to be a general set back in the construction industry. The non-commitment of partner in UAE construction companies another important set back identified in this research. Love (2002) and Ali (2010) identified this type of relationship in his study, which is either strategic or project based partnering. He distinguished between these two as long term and short term relationship respectively. It is important to note that partnership in construction industry plays vital roles, which also help to develop trust and commitment between the parties to effectively run any type of project.


Chopra et al. (2001) explained the main five barriers in proper implementing the SCM process and this has been observed in our survey, the results of Q14 authenticates our Objective no.2 in which respondents were asked for the following obstacles.

Management non-commitment Lack of basic understanding of the concept Poor organization structure Communication gap between the supplier and client

Objective No.3: Recommendations for effective ways to SCM relationship between the parties (i.e Suppliers, contractors and their clients) in the UAE
The healthy and well managed relationship between Suppliers, Contractors and their client plays an important role in realizing the handsome profit and ease the construction process. In chapter 4, the data analysis Q12 supports our objectives in which 67% of the survey respondents strongly support the better quality service as SCM feature with relation to the supplier. The relationship can further be strengthened using Partnering procurement technique. Parker & D'Vaz, Latham and Egan report also emphasized the use of partnering technique to improve the relationship between the different stakeholders of the project. dissertation. The further recommendations are outlined in section 5.6 of this


Hypothesis Authentication

This section provides the authentication of our hypothesis for our research based on the survey results.

1. UAE construction industry is still infancy in the area of Supply Chain Management process.
The results of Q9 to Q14 are most relevant to our hypothesis validation. 56% respondents of the survey currently implement and reap the benefits of SCM procedures while the remaining 44% are planning or have partially adopted SCM in their company. This has been identified in Q9 of chapter 4, Lambert and Cooper (2000) study also supports these benefits of supply chain and even Vrijhoef and Koskela (2000) study also provides four


roles are also additional way to support maximum benefits of SCM in construction industry and support SCM as a successful management technique in construction industry. The average rating of the question 10 also indicated that the participants of the survey knows very well the SCM functions and small number of survey participants either partially support or not sure for the SCM functions in their organizations. Q11 and Q12 results also ensures the knowledge of the features of SMC related to client and Supplier, which also ensure that the UAE construction industry have somehow adopted the SCM in their organizations. The results of Q13 and Q14 are also supportive for the SCM adoption in UAE construction. Our research based on the hypothesis that UAE construction industry is still infancy to adopt the SCM in their organizations, the results shows that the UAE construction industries have a good knowledge of supply chain management process but due to the barriers that they are facing cannot fully utilize the SCM features in their industry, which force them to use Supply chain management process in a immature or infancy way. The barriers non-commitment of management and partnering relationship are the main factors of barriers in the UAE construction industry, other barriers are discussed in section 5.3 of this chapter.


Research Limitation

SCM is a comparatively new technique in the UAE construction industry. As a result there is a sufficient literature available on the subject but very little as compared to the application in UAE construction industry. Due to time constraints and current recession affect on the UAE Construction industry, the questionnaire was mailed to twenty (20) Top UAE construction and real estate firms and it is noted the companies are very much uneasy to share their company information specially their annual turn over and the process how they deal with the customers. The another difficulty was to get personal face to face interviews with the concerned persons, which is the most difficult part of the research to convince the organizations to participate in such research.


Recommendations for Future Research

The supply chain management is not new in construction; sufficient literature is available, but the countries like UAE have not been studies so for in this domain. It is recommended to research more on this topic, as UAE is constructing worlds most


beautiful or high buildings, motorways and other construction related projects and worlds topmost construction companies are running their business in the UAE markets. The following recommendations are suggested to further research on this topic.

Management non-commitment to the supply chain in UAE construction industry needs more research and to identify the factors involved in the non-commitment of the management in the UAE construction industry

Impact of partnering relationship on UAE construction Industry. The incompatibilities related to technology, due to poor IT infrastructure in UAE construction Industry.



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ANNEXURE- A Survey Questionnaire

1. What is total Employee strength in your organization?

Less than 50 50 to 100 101 to 200 201 to 300 More than 300

2. How long have you been involved in UAE construction industry?

1-5 years 5 to 10 years 10 to 15 years More than 15 years

3. What is the annual turnover of your organization is (US Dollar) if comfortable to share ?
10 m dollar 10 to 50 m dollar 50 to 100 m dollar More than m dollar

4. Do you support that Supply chain management can help to save cost?
Yes No Not sure

5. How long does it take to complete the project?

Less than 1 year 1 to 2 years 2 to 3 years More than 3 years


6. Does your organization conduct team building sessions arrange meetings with the client and vendors during the project implementation phase?
Weekly meetings Bi-weekly meetings Monthly meetings Once in Three months No meetings at all Dont know

1. Do you think that with efficient implementation of SCM can boost quality of construction and save time?
Yes No Not sure

8. Do you think that with efficient implementation of SCM can boost quality of construction and save time?
Yes No Not sure

9. Dou have any system in place for the selection of suppliers, if yes how do you select a vendor or supplier based on?
Recommendation Price Experience Geographic Location Market reputation

10. Is Supply chain management related to your business and do u think that your organization has system in place to manage the project in an efficient way?
Not relevant Somewhat relevant Most relevant


10. What SCM functions which are most important to internal organization of your company?
Strongly Sure Production Procurement Operation Storage Inventory Other Somewhat sure Not sure Somewhat Strongly sure differ

11. What SCM features which are important in relationship with your client?
Strongly Somewhat Sure Cost benefits Ease construction process Ease tendering process Ease design process Achieve standardization Other sure Not sure Somewhat sure Strongly differ


12. What SCM features which are important in relationship with your supplier, and does partnering plays an important role in SCM?

Strongly Sure Better quality service Cost benefits Simplify the construction process Simplify the ordering process Other

Somewhat sure

Not sure

Somewhat Strongly sure differ

13. What are main objective(s) in developing SCM in your organization?

Strongly Somewhat Sure Better customer service Benefits to client Benefits to supplier Increase profits Increase competitiveness Decrease paperwork Cost reduction within organization Superior quality assurance Supply chain reduction Other sure Not sure Somewhat sure Strongly differ


14. What are Obstacles and difficulties faced in implementing SCM in your organization?
Strongly Somewhat Sure Management noncommitment Lack of conceptual understanding Inefficient organization structure Non-commitment of partner Unclear strategic benefits Poor I.T. infrastructure Other sure Not sure Somewhat sure Strongly differ