Pilot Study Interview / Open Ended Discussion

The objective of the pilot study is to verify the Critical Success Factors of IBS which have been identified previously from the literature reviews.

Moderator: Professor Mustafa Alshawi (University of Salford)
Panelist: Mr. David Leonard (Taylor Woodrow)
Panelist: Dr. Samir Boudjabeur (CORUS)
Panelist / Minutes taker: Mr. Kamarul Anuar (University of Salford)

Points (CSFs in bold):

1. Both panelists argued that IBS adoption is a major transformation process of contractor roles and not a business as usual. Indeed, contractors would have to play a new different roles as developer, assembler, project manager, specialist sub-contractor, labour sub-contractor, cost planner, intermediaries or manufactures (as in the case of CORUS Living Solution). As such, there is a need for contractor to identify company's strength and develop their own new role around that expertise in order to embrace in IBS construction business.

2. In some of IBS project in UK, the buildings have been design by the designers in traditional construction consideration. Therefore, changing the process and alteration some design details to suit IBS after the design process has completed is a difficult task. It is also difficult to manufacture and assembly those components in term of dimensions, jointing system and material. As a result, in many cases, contractors faced complex interfacing problem and problem to assemble components at site. Therefore, contracting companies should provide some input in design phase (design integration). Contractors should also have a strong know-how in the area of IBS and pre-fabrication to play alteration role and to deal with complex interfacing at site.

3. The transformation process from traditional contractor to IBS (downstream-site assemblers) needs a new skilled workforce, a new procedure and business approach, investment planning, capital expenditure (CAPEX) planning and prudent financial planning. Hence, contractors need to have specific model to diagnosis own's ability, readiness and sub-sequentially identify own strength. Reducing responsibilities into just a few specific task and prioritizing certain role from traditional construction is the way forward. Re-engineering process thus, should consider new requirements, advantages & risk and also challenges and opportunities lies ahead.

4. Some of the Critical Success Factors need to be considered in order to have a successful transformation process are knowledge in cost plan and building value, skills in specialized area, Change Management initiative, dealing with cultural issues, alliances in supply chain, adopt different type of leadership, identify market, identify CAPEX requirement, risk assessment, prudent cost planning, long term planning in term of target and time frame in business profit margin. Thus, the target set for IBS adoption, CAPEX and business investment should be specific, measurable and achievable within a reasonable time frame.

5. Panelists have agreed that Change Management is important initiative to deal with internal cultural barrier. IBS adoption means a change of system, value and sometime job requirements. Some workers would feel threaten (insecure) from this new environment and therefore feel reluctant to change. As such, contractors need to invest in ‘occupation psychologist’ therapy and diagnosis to deal with this behavior and subsequently gain the support from internal staff. However, in practical, most construction companies are reluctant to invest in non-technical investment and make it challenging to deal with internal cultural and resistance issues.

6. Risk identifying (assessment) and risk mitigation is an important process to deal with ‘trail and error’ stages at the beginning of the transformation period. Contractors need to have balance development which looking into risk, cost and value aspect.

7. Strategic alliances and partnering is important and critical to IBS. Most of successful IBS companies have a strong support from so called ‘mother company’ in term of resources, expertise, CAPEX and continuity in production to deal with market requirement, payback period and survive in transition stage. For instant, CORUS Living Solution (CLS) was successful because of the strong support from CORUS Ltd. and on the other hand, PANALOC Ltd. was less successful in recent years because the company stands at their own in doing business.

8. Panelists agreed that is important to understand market perception of IBS and measuring productivity both at factory and at site.

9. Leadership and technical knowledge are important and critical to convince the client to use IBS by gaining profit in term of time and quality (support strategic business decision). It also important to have effective business plan and investment plan which include analysis on skill, tools and resources. Good leadership is also important to deal with cultural issues and introducing collaborative work at site and design office.

10. Cost Management is critical to IBS adoption. It include activities such as cost comparison between products and components, detail calculation on initial cost to assemble components at site and the process to identify at which stage of IBS adoption, IBS seem profitable (Return of Investment) and achieve economic of scale

11. Optimization of design, process and sequence in critical to IBS project. Optimisation can be obtained by having a detail program, planning resources and ability to understand complex process and manufacturing capability in details. Both decision would have significant impact on cash flow and initial cost of the project. Contractors need to reduce stockpile in finish product at factory floor and at site and also subsequently reduce unnecessary waste in the supply chain. As such, detail planning is critical to create optimization and deal with issues such as regulation and insurance.


Anis Sazira said...

Wow...baguih betul progress you ni...nanti nk belajar mcmana nk conduct interview ye....

K.A.M.K said...

The pilot is use 'open ended discussion' format on pre-determined topic initiate and moderate by Prof. Mustafa. I'm still not sure whether this information is sufficient for the pilot study report.

Not a problem at all, i hope our team would organised small discussion group to chat about research method and share our info. I would love to have input from you also.

K.A.M.K said...

Glad to hear from you again and good news that you've conducted the interviews with the two key persons representing Manubuild. Since you are aware of the real situation in Malaysia it will be helpful to know some of the initiatives taken first hand from Manubuild. I am happy to note that you've dwelled into the real situation and I am sure gradually you will build up the facts. Anyway please bear in mind that circumstances in Europe might differ from Malaysia in many aspects. Please take note on the differences of the characteristics and situation and these will contribute as part of your research work. Please keep updating your research development.

Ir. Dr. Zuhairi (2nd Supervisor) via email