16.11.09

Current IBS Perspectives in Malaysia (Based on CIDB's IBS Workshop in July 2009)

Paper published in (please make proper citation): Zuhairi Abd. Hamid and Kamarul Anuar Mohamad Kamar (2010), Enhancing the Malaysia Construction Industry Through Best Practices and Innovation on IBS, Seminar on IBS Technologies for Modern Building, University Malaysia Sabah, 7th January 2009

The industry perceived that current incentives and policies on IBS were not sufficient. IBS adoption requires more pull and also push factors from the government. Due to the small profit margin, the change from conventional to IBS is not feasible, unless, more attractive incentive systems and benefits which can lure the conventionalist to use IBS are well in place

The failure of IBS to penetrate the market is due to a misconception that it will eventually replace the traditional sector, while both should actually work closely in tandem to promote best practice in construction. The sharing of best practices between the two approaches is essential for the continued successful development of both construction sectors

The industry and academia agreed that R&D on IBS should be move from technical research to tackle more soft issues in the future. Research projects need to look more on people aspect including how professional which has been trained in conventional construction to use IBS. IBS adopters should be able to manage and engage with multi-disciplinary organisations. Thus, the project management capability and human capacity programs become more and more important in the future

Supply Chain Management (SCM) and partnering concept has not been fully understood by the industry. Currently, the cooperation between contractors, manufacturers and suppliers is weak in many cases. Improving the procurement system and supply chain is the key to achieving IBS success. Partnering with suppliers and sub-contractors from the earliest project stages is vital to ensure efficient pre-planning and timely delivery of components and services

IBS is seen as an expensive, risky and difficult solution for contractors who normally aim for a higher marginal profit by cutting costs. The transformation of company from the conventional system to IBS requires a tremendous focus on Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to achieve the transformation goal. More research should be done in the area of change management, Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), Benchmarking and identifying the success factor for IBS which can help contractors and other adopters to move to IBS.

Towards a greater adoption of IBS in Malaysia, the industry should learn through experiences from other countries in adopting IBS. IBS best practices and technologies should be captured and applied. In Finland, for example, IBS represented 70% of total building construction. It offers effective and rapid site assembly and improving the quality and productivity of construction. Japanese housebuilding industry has been developed the most advance manufacturing techniques in construction. The automation and robotic applied in both manufacturing floor and on-site construction for better quality, minimum onsite duration and better value for customer. IBS in Germany has improved quality and provided a better value with considerable variety and flexibility in design.

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