Document Detail

Title: FR-344 - Improved Integration of the Supply Chain in Materials Planning and Work Packaging, Part I: Visibilit
Publication Date: 12/1/2018
Product Type: Final Report
Status: Tool
Pages: 102
Provides concrete starting points from which firms and projects can take action to improve materials management, with a focus in this volume on the desired visibility across common decisions during execution. Defines enablers that enhance the benefits of increased visibility, and offers a method for scoring visibility and enabler performance.
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Materials are the life blood of projects. If materials don’t flow smoothly from specification to fabrication to site installation, project performance will be poor. All too often, even well planned and executed projects face disruptions to materials flow. Indeed, late or missing materials are a common occurrence on almost every project. While there are many challenges, a fundamental problem is lack of visibility of materials status in the supply chain. Being able to see where materials are and subsequent ability to accurately forecast delivery dates enables effective work in the field and supports timely corrective action. While most projects have some sort of materials tracking tools, the experience of the research team and a survey of 218 industry professionals reveal that there are numerous opportunities to improve. A significant percentage (27%) report materials visibility is less than adequate on site, and visibility worsens upstream away from the site. The net result is poor productivity, costly expediting, and out of sequence work with all the consequent challenges to project alignment, safety, and quality.

It is the considered opinion of Research Team 344 that enhancing materials visibility is among the greatest opportunities for improvement available to capital projects. Fortunately, improving materials visibility can be tied to other productivity and quality enhancement efforts, such as Advanced Work Packaging. Indeed, almost all project improvement efforts can benefit from heightened supply chain visibility. We note that the streamlined and responsive supply chain transformations in other industries have been enabled by better materials visibility.

The research findings provide concrete starting points from which firms and projects can take action. This volume provides detailed definitions of desired visibility across common decisions during execution. A complement of enablers is also provided to enhance the benefit of increased visibility. The definitions represent the broad input of the research team, including owner, designer, contractor, supplier and technology perspectives. Projects and firms are encouraged to use the visibility definitions and enablers to audit their own capabilities and prioritize actions for improvement. To support such assessment, firms can score themselves against averages collected by the research team. Definitions can also support contracting for desired information and provide input into information systems for materials tracking.