Construction supply chain integration: Understanding its applicability in infrastructure asset maintenance and renewal programmes

Author name(s): 
Munro, T. and Childerhouse, P.

Extant research in construction supply chains focuses on new asset construction projects with little addressing longer duration asset and network renewal and maintenance programmes. The purpose of this research is to address a gap in construction supply chain research, and consider if supply chain integration is applicable in long-term work programmes in civil infrastructure.
This qualitative research draws on data provided by interviewees from two subject roading networks. The findings suggest that there is an underlying demand and value for increased integration, and a willingness and trust amongst the focal actors to integrate more with upstream and horizontal partners. However, implementation would be hindered by the focal actors’ limited capabilities and maturity in supply chain management and supply chain integration as evidenced by a lack of shared goals, shared integration strategy and shared ICT.
The research concludes that focal actors, in an infrastructure network delivering long term programmes of planned and response works, could adapt prevailing supply chain methodologies to benefit from increased integration. The research contributes to knowledge through an increased understanding of trust as an environmental consideration, and identifying the potential for integration with horizontal partners delivering services in the same location.