The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to Industrialised Building System (IBS) Implementation

1.     Changing conventional design to IBS during or after the tender has been awarded should be avoided. IBS can be only benefit if decision to use it can be decide as early as possible by the designers, not as afterthought during the project. In many cases, IBS is in favor to Design & Build (D&B) rather than conventional procurement route.

2.     There is consensus of opinion that the imperative factors in successful IBS implementations lies in good site management, planning and control of overall process in project life cycle. IBS requires thorough arrangement of detail design, work delivery schedule, most cost effective way for installation and logistic is coordinated and benefit in term of shorter construction period is materialised. Tighter and longer period of planning are required to allow for design, logistic and installation planning, procurement and approval procedures. Extensive planning must be completed well in advance which lead to better project performance, coordination, better scope control and ensure smooth project sequence. This in turn, leads to recommendation that experience and well-trained workers are the critical to IBS. A comprehensive training scheme will support this.

3.     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. It has been suggested that by implementing integrated approach in design and construction, fragmentation gap could minimised.

4.     Management of supply chain and partnering are critical factors to successful IBS implementation. It put emphasis in advance planning and coordination. It is particularly important to engage with suppliers who know the products and the process exceptionally well, particularly on sub-contractors whom doing the work onsite. The relationship is based on strategic alliance with key suppliers. All parties involved have the same shared vision and ownership and was allowed to work out its own ways of maximising the use of components. Partnering ensure the smooth process coordination from factory to installation.

5.     IBS can be best implemented if we have capability in design management and design integration, where aspects that can benefited the projects can be incorporated through design i.e. standardisation, modular, pre-assembly, manufacturability and constructability. Obtaining manufacturing input at an early stage of the project is essential to IBS design. It is vital for adopters to involve the project team in project decision making and design as early as possible to ensure their input on the issue of manufacturing, design harmonisation and constructability are captured before the design is confirmed and transfer to the manufacturing floor.

6.     ICT is the key enabler to IBS implementation and become a reliable support tool. The application of ICT tools needs to be utilised in a more widespread manner, in order for the IBS industry to improve efficiencies, planning, manage process and ensure reliability of components deliveries.

7.     Successful IBS Implementation is based on the strong support, commitment, awareness, vision, knowledge and leadership of the Senior Management. It a top-down implementation. Obtaining this support could be the key in managing successful IBS project.The adopters must have a clear business strategy, structured cost control instruments and initiate the use of appropriate technology at time. Based on industrialisation principal, innovation adoption is an evolution which depends on the maturity of organisation. There is no point on implementing the latest construction technology, without considering capability and readiness of the company to embrace in it.

8.     IBS requires good communication channel and information flows between all level of decision making and all project phases. Effective communication channel across the supply chain need to be established in order to coordinate processes and deal with critical scheduling in IBS from the beginning until the project completion. Clarity and simplicity of communication channel is the rule. ICT could be a reliable support tool.

9.     The repetition process each time project was implemented allows continues improvement and waste elimination in the technique and processes to achieve better performance in IBS. IBS can only benefit the adopters if the implementer can adopt improvement in each repetitive process and cut the corner in term of speed of construction due to the nature of repetitiveness. This is the essence of manufacturing which has been adopted in construction through IBS.

10. IBS can only be implemented if we have demand and economy viable. It is suggested that, the adopter only chose selective projects that can benefits by the use of IBS. Large and repetitive contract is preferred. Some successful IBS adopters is a sub-division of developers which can ensure stability, continues resources and continues business. Only by having demand IBS can sustain. 

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