Case study report - Analysis

Critical Success Factors
Points Captured During Discussion and Presentation Session
Corporate Leadership
·         Successful IBS implementation is based on the strong support, commitment, awareness, vision, knowledge and leadership of senior management team. It is a top-down implementation.
·         Obtaining this support could be the key to the successful IBS project. Corporate vision and direction on IBS must be clear. IBS must be understood by all level of decision makers in the organisation.
Business Strategy
·         Business strategy is important as companies need strategy to better approach IBS. It must be specific to company and depends on maturity and readiness.
·         Good business plan ensure cost of overall IBS should be reduced to 20% - 30% compared to conventional by any means, adopt zero wastage in IBS, focus on cost control on site management and adopt total project management that emphasis on cost; (reduce production time, produce highest volume of IBS component).
·         Workshop participants agreed that business strategy is also important in assessing the viability of the project. IBS need volume. Currently there is no volume to satisfy the adopters during the downturn of economy. Business strategy to obtain volume and guide the adopters during economic recovery is critical. It is important for the industry and promoters to study how IBS can be dealt during the economic downturn and how to seize opportunity in economic recovery in the future.
·         However, contractors in this workshop feel that financial strategy is less important and not critical to them as they willing work as long as they get paid. Marketing and branding is perceived as not critical by the industry due to limited market. It is different from other industry where marketing and branding is important.
·         IBS requires fresh thinking and ‘blue ocean’ strategy to capture new demand, create new market space and offer customers a leap in value. The blue ocean is an analogy to describe the wider, deeper potential of market space that is not yet explored. IBS should be linked with macro economic demand. The industry need to penetrate and focus on the certain market sector.
·         Contractor also agreed in focus on targeting market including high quality at low cost in both infrastructure and residential and to venture into niche market (specialisation). They need to find solutions to raised volume in order to get low cost product and explore new market like in the Middle East countries and other developing countries.
·         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.
·         Currently despite being mandate to use IBS in public building project, IBS market is perceived by contractors as very limited market. The market is too public sector driven and been monopolise of big boys. IBS should be more private driven in the future. Therefore, a strategic alliance is important to secure project. Joint venture and partnering agreement is already in place with regional development authorities to get project.
Selection of Technology
·         Most contractors used low IBS technologies due to cost and lack of volume. 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 technologies, without considering one capability, maturity and readiness to embrace in it.
·         One of such option is to adopt and use flexible and adjustable mould, mobile factory and onsite casting to save cost. They must also establish mechanism in using rental basis option on system formwork to reduce paid up cost.
·         Contractors agreed that the capacity and capability in design, manufacturing and construction can not be separated. Contractors have to close monitor and coordinate the processes.
·         Whenever possible, contractors are encourage to develop own capacity in IBS design and set-up their own fabricated yard. Contractors shall not depend on existing suppliers as monopoly increased cost.
Contract and Procurement
·         Most contractors are in favor to Design & Build (D&B) or turn-key project rather than involve in a conventional contract. In conventional contract, contractors normally have no say to the project design. However, IBS requires different approach where obtaining input at an early stage of the project is essential to IBS design.
·         It is vital for contractors to only involve in project decision making and design in early stage to ensure their input on the issue of constructability is being captured before the design is confirmed and transfer to the manufacturing floor.
·         The workshop participants all agreed that changing conventional design to IBS after the tender has been rewarded is a bad practice.
·         IBS can be only benefit if decision to use it can be decide as early as possible not as afterthought during the project.
Design Management and Integration
·         Changes during construction should be avoided in IBS. Design should be firm from the beginning and the statement of need must be very clear.
·         IBS requires total integration of design and process. This can be done through contract as discussed above.
Management of Supply Chain
·          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 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. 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. Adopters want to be able to work together with clients, manufacturers and designers from the beginning to the delivery.
·          Contractor need to create vendor and supplier system comparable to automotive sector. Ideally, to accelerate change and expedite learning curve, adopters need to partner with established organisation with sufficient technical know-how.
·          It is also important to engage with suppliers who know the products and the process exceptionally well, particularly on sub-contractors whom doing the work onsite. All parties involved have the same shared vision and ownership and was allowed to work out its own ways of maximising the use of prefabricated components.
·          Partnering ensure the smooth process coordination from factory to installation. Partnering will ease communication problem between parties. Partnering will help one to fully understand other interest as well as self interest in project implementation. Any dispute will be easier to be resolved within a minimum time.
·          However partnering and strategic alliance are still lacking in supply chain.
Project Management
·          Project management is very important particularly on pre-cast IBS. IBS speeding up the process thus require early planning and proper coordination. Advanced planning is essential to contractor.
·          IBS construction 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.
·          IBS also requires good communication channel and information flows between all level of decision making and all project phases.
Information Technology
·         IT is important support tools for IBS implementation. The industry believed that they should used software from manufacturing industry.
·         However, they admitted that currently, there is no widespread usage of IT tool to support planning and management of logistic. The use of IT is limited to design.
Labour competency
·         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.
·         This in turn, leads to recommendation that experience and well-trained workers are the critical for IBS contractors. A comprehensive training scheme will support this. However, the industry is still lacking of skills and knowledge.
·         However, currently there is no knowledge retention. Knowledge is always on project to project basis
Training and Education
·         The application of IBS required a high level of technique and precision compared to traditional method, and therefore requires the labour to be sufficiently trained to undertake the job.
·         Training and awareness at all level of decision making are highly important to facilitate change from conventional to IBS. It is agreed by stakeholders that training, awareness and education is highly important to IBS.
·         Continuous effort by Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to establish better training scheme, Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Continuous Contractor Development (CCD) program is vital. The new training module should incorporate latest technology such as Virtual Reality training simulation which is currently being developed in developed countries.
Continuous Improvement
·         The repetition process each time project was implemented allows continuous 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.

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