Publications / 2003 Proceedings of the 20th ISARC, Eindhoven, Holland

E-Business in the Construction Industry: a Search for Practical Applications Using the Internet

Hans Wamelink, Wim Teunissen
Pages 543-547 (2003 Proceedings of the 20th ISARC, Eindhoven, Holland, ISBN 978-90-6814-574-8, ISSN 2413-5844)

New technology often drives organisational changes. The influence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on modern business is enormous. ICT not only supports improvements in the primary process but, for example, also enables better planning and much improved logistics. Here communication technology is equally or even more important than information processing itself. In the current economic downturn, the construction industry will be forced to answer to the ever-increasing customer demands for flexibility both in relation to the end product as well as to the construction and production process. Construction companies need to anticipate these new requirements. A complicating factor in this context is the way the construction industry is organised: many companies with varying expertise, working on a project base together, all contributing their own - often small - part to the end product. This makes the use, and above all the efficient use, of ICT in the whole construction process difficult when we try to tackle the subject of collaboration: all participants are confronted with slightly different ways of working which make the exchange and reuse of information difficult. To be able to manage communication, co-operation and collaboration, the Internet is already playing an important role. Internet technology can be the source of many improvements. Initiated amidst the e-Business hype, the project Digibouw has resulted in an overview of seven concrete functional areas where the Internet may provide the construction industry with the technology to improve performance. In this paper we present the findings of this research and focus on the area of e-Procurement, and specifically on one of its aspects, e-Ordering. We will show not only what it can bring to a single company, but also offer some advice on how to start introducing e- Ordering.

Keywords: e-Business, e-Procurement, e-Ordering, project webs, document management, workflow management, knowledge management