19.10.08

IBS: Critical Succes Factors (Introduction)

Industrialized Building Systems (IBS) has been identified as a potential solution to improve overall performance of construction industry such as quality, cost effectiveness, safety, waste reduction and productivity. Whereas the advantages are very plausible, the idealism of industrialised construction is far from being practical. In reality, the majority of contractors and housebuilders are not keen to IBS due to cost and risk issues, negative perception on past failures, legislation and regulation, lack of personnel to perform specialised skill, limited IT adoption and lack of guidance.

In fact, the use of IBS requires tremendous effort to change existing construction practices and to train the personnel with specializing skills such as assembly and coordination. It leaves the contractors with noticeable difficulties and often fails to reinvent their current roles to suit IBS project. Nevertheless, several contractors had successful in the use of IBS and the authors feel that their critical success factors need to be documented and shared. The critical success factor is defined as the limited number of areas in which satisfactory results will ensure successful performance for the organization. The paper review and analyse literatures conserving critical success factors for contractors to embrace into IBS construction. The factors are proposed as focus area in change management process or as benchmarking scope to imitate successful IBS contractor.

The critical success factors for IBS are planning and control of internal process, partnering team, corporate leadership, cost management, human resource and training, supply chain control, extensive IT, standardisation and tolerance and handling, installation and commissioning. The results proposed in this paper however are not conclusive but rather a call for debate and platform to gather feedback form construction observers. More evidence needs to be compiled in order to support this paper and a pilot study will be conducted to validate the arguments which have been highlighted.

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