Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Dr. William G. Ferrell, Jr.

Committee Member

Dr. Scott J. Mason

Committee Member

Dr. Byung Rae Cho

Committee Member

Dr. Anand K. Gramopadhye

Abstract

There is a strong connection between managing and controlling material flow in a supply chain and its performance. While this is true in all supply chains, it is particularly true in the construction supply chain (CSC) where the total demand for parts is finite, the storage space available can be small, and the variability in consumption is high. On the other hand, effectively controlling the CSC can have a significant impact on controlling risk and buffering their impact so that projects stay on schedule and within budget. Currently, a common control of the CSC is with a push-based material ordering system based on the initial construction schedule and, then, holding a tremendous amount of inventory. Project managers even speak of the desirability to 'flood the site' which means having as many of the construction materials on-site as early in the project as possible. It is not uncommon for a year-long construction project to have tens of acres dedicated to storage and for this area to be completely full early before the project begins. Further, each project is controlled completely independently from all other project even if they are for the same customer or being built by the same firm. A new methodology for controlling the CSC that represents a paradigm shift from the current system is proposed in this Dissertation. This two-stage methodology applies to products that can be used among a few construction projects being executed simultaneously. Stage 1 mirrors the current push procurement strategy but Stage 2 allows transshipments between sites. Further, the two stages collaborate in the sense that information is shared and decisions updated based on current, global knowledge. The methodology uses deterministic optimization models with objectives that minimizing the total cost of the CSC. To illustrate how this methodology can be used in practice and the types of information that can be gleaned, it is tested on a number of cases based on the real example of multiple construction projects in Kuwait.

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