Update: Based on the comment by ‘penyelia bangunan’ in his blog, IBS is seen as a threat to contractors rather than opportunity. Traditional method is still preferred because IBS is given very little or no benefits to contractors. The argument is based on the fact that the building contractor needs to pay higher consultation fees for specialised consultant engineer on IBS. As a ‘system integrator’ on site, the role of contractor is also significantly reduced. In general, the installation of components and its logistics issues is under the responsibility of the manufacture. The reduction of work for contractors means a slimmer profit margin.
My personal views based on the study:
1. Contractor must have accreditation on their skills and expertise (ISO and CIDB’s Installer accreditation) to stand higher in the highly competitive market or as ways to promote ‘unique selling point’
2. Contractor must realise the ‘uncharted’ benefits of IBS such as reduce risk in safety, assurance on overall cost and reduction in time (contractor can bid for another project). Cost can be reduced on waste reduction and optimisation
3. Thus, to achieve the reduction, contractor requires better planning skills and site coordination. Perhaps, IT capability can be fully utilised
4. Contractor must work closely with manufacture and subcontractor to achieve optimisation and cost saving
5. Sooner rather than later, government will imposed tighter regulation on foreign labour, so contractors must be ready
(This article is a part of acedemic proceeding, will be published in conjuction of 2nd CIRAIC (International Conference in Kuala Lumpur), Novemeber 2009
1. There is a consensus of opinion that the crucial factors in successful off-site projects lie in good site management, planning and control of overall process in project life cycle. This in turn, leads to recommendation that experience and well-trained workers are the critical for IBS contractors
2. The integration of IBS components or modules into the building requires the various parties and supply chain to cooperate closely. This requires very careful definitions and management of interfaces between contractors and suppliers and a good communication channel
3. Supply Chain Management (SCM) and partnering concept has not been fully understood by the industry. Currently, the cooperation between contractors, manufacturers and suppliers was weak in many cases. Improving the procurement system and supply chain is the key to achieving IBS success for contracting companies. Partnering with suppliers and sub-contractors from the earliest project stages is vital to ensure efficient and timely delivery of components and services
4. IT (Information Technology) is the key enabler to off-site implementation and become a reliable support tool. The application of IT tools need to be utilised in a more widespread manner, in order for the off-site industry to improve efficiencies, planning, manage process and ensure reliability of components deliveries
5. The paper suggested that IBS contractors requires healthier business plan in order to create new business approach, investment planning and risk identification. A strong leadership in both institutional and management level are important to lead to the use of innovative technology
6. Change Management and ‘occupational physiologist’ approach could perhaps to be adopted by contracting organisation to assist IBS adoption among workers. However, this idea popular not due to cost to implement.
7. IBS is not well accepted by the construction companies because of failure to adequately deal with risks in the IBS projects. In order to reduce risk, a careful risk strategy is imperative. Sub-contracting and establishment of IBS subsidiaries can reduce some risk based on contractual ‘risk-transfer’ solution. In addition, the contractor can attempt to own the prefabrication technology by devising special relationship with one or more prefabrication subcontractor, such as project-based joint venture, vertical integration or even internalization.