Background to the study

Constructions projects are one of the most common activities we encounter in our lives, yet it is also known as one of the most difficult humankind endeavours. As a matter of fact each project consist of sophisticated and complex processes which need to be carried out by different individuals of different professionals, who have special set of skills and knowledge. All the talent and skills have to be channelled towards a common goal to producing the project. To accomplish this goal, time and money are required. At the end these construction projects, provide us with facilities that are useful, functional, visually pleasing and enjoyable to occupy. This journey is called the project delivery process (Construction Specification Institute, 2011). Effective delivery is all about the control and management of uncertainty. Therefore one needs to identify the uncertainty related to the project and sculpt the best strategy to deliver the project so that the chances of success are increased.

Hence steering the way for accomplishing successful project is all about knowing all the tactics to tackle our way through the impending obstacles. So identifying these obstacles are crucial in order to confront them. Thereby a lot of researchers have immersed themselves in various studies to identify the causes of delay and cost overrun happening in various projects. The analyses on these factors have been carried on different contexts over a long period of time. This continuous effort on finding the causes or the factors for delay and cost overrun are more or less generated similar results and only the ranking have been swapped between the different context and time. Although the repetitiveness in this approach is observed, a change in perspective can provide an interesting insight in a common pattern in these factors. For instance, issues regarding construction materials have been highly ranked in both delay and cost overrun factors and also it is a common factor that is mentioned in almost all the research done on this area. Hence this ignites the curiosity to unfold the relationship between construction material and construction project.

The main reason for construction material to be so influential in a construction project is because the cost for material handling may range from 30 – 80 % of total construction cost (Proverb, et al., 1999).Therefore ineffective material management can cause inevitable loss for a construction project.

Material management can be considered as a prime uncertainty in a construction project. Bell and Stukhart (1986) defined materials management functions which include planning and material take off, vendor evaluation and selection, purchasing, expenditure, shipping, material receiving, warehousing and inventory and material distribution. As material management is interrelated to other processes and stages of the construction project and is dependent over various other factors it has high uncertainty. Especially the nature of construction project being fragment basis with unstructured communication and no clear responsibility between the parties, increase the challenge of implementing effective material management.

Although material management problems highly impact the construction professionals all over the world, they are more critical for Maldivian construction professionals.

Being a nation with a small domestic market; shortage of skilled manpower; difficult transport and communication and heavy dependence on imported construction material amplified this problem

Statement of the Problem 

The rigorous procedure to deliver the materials to the construction site also has its own uncertainties and ambiguities. The material orders need to be quantified properly to fulfil only the present phase. Because the country is mostly described to have more sea than land therefore lack of storage space is a common problem. Without proper storage of materials it can lead to unexpected condition, which can affect the project. Therefore in this research more in depth study will be conducted to understand how materials management process practice can have an impact on the construction delivery time.

Bringing imported construction materials made-to-order for a construction project is time consuming and requires high expenditure. On the other hand those projects depending on the limited local supplier shops face the difficulty to find the right quantity and quality of materials needed for the projects. Ultimately putting the project at stake and accelerating the cost of the project. Therefore in this research a study will be carried out to explore the relationship between different material management processes practice and project delivery in terms of cost overrun and delay.

Multiple times the researchers in the field of construction highlighted the challenges that they are facing due to the imported materials, but an in-depth study has never been conducted (Rashfa, 2014). Even though fundamental discussions have been conducted to raise concern regarding construction material, no solid solution has been reached.

Aim and Objectives 

The main aim of this research paper is to explore the impact of material management on building project delivery in Nigeria.

Objective of Study 

The objectives of this study are:

  1. Examine the existing material management processes in construction projects of
  2. Identify the root causes of ineffective material management in Nigeria construction projects
  3. Explore the relationship between material management process types and project delivery in terms of cost overrun and

 Research questions

  1. What are the current material management practices in construction projects?
  2. Is there any influencing factors determining material management process type?
  3. What are the root causes of ineffective material management in Nigeria construction projects?
  4. Is there any relation between the root causes and the current material management practices?
  5. How project delivery in terms of cost overrun and delay is related to the material management practices

  Scope of work

This research paper focuses only on the construction industry of Nigeria. Moreover it concentrates specifically on building projects such as; residential and non-residential hotels, restaurants. Even though projects with various project value and size are explored in this research, a special attention to building projects in the Nigeria capital city, Male’ city is given as most of the building projects are concentrated in the urban area.

Significance of Research

The findings from this research will serve as a guideline to the Nigeria construction industry stakeholders. As a matter of fact construction material management practices in Nigeria construction industry have never been identified or recorded previously. Therefore this study will be the first to reveal the existing material management practices and the comparison between the different approaches will give the field professions a deeper insight into these practices.

Moreover this study will generate a list of root causes for ineffective material management that can be used as a benchmark to control the existing and future projects. In addition to this how these root causes are related to the current material management practices will aware the stakeholders to be more cautious.

Furthermore the most concerning issues like cost overrun and delay in terms of project delivery and its relation with the current material management practice will reveal the weakness in the current material management practices to the stakeholders.

Apart from this research being useful to the field professionals, this study will be valuable for the academicians too. As this study will serve as a support of what the past researchers have written about material management in construction projects. Furthermore it will also provide information for further researchers who are willing to investigate on this particular or similar case.

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