LITERATURE REVIEW AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK ON MATERIAL MANAGEMENT ON BUILDING PROJECT

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Material management consist of a series of processes that need to be integrated, coordinated and synchronized well to ensure that material are available at their point of use when needed. Material management process begins from need generated from site followed by this information conveyed to store department and material is ordered in the store, indent is generated. Usually vender selection is to be carried out for the least value and best items. Materials are received at store departments and inspection is carried out. Below in Figure 2 is a material management process flow chart (source from Patil & Pataskar, 2013).

 Planning

Material planning is the initial process that needs to be carried out accurately in order to provide guide to all the subsequent activities. According to Gulghane & Khandve (2015) material planning includes quantifying, ordering and scheduling. The materials planning process covers the set up maintenance of records and determines the target levels and delivery frequency. Adopting a good material management plan can increase productivity and profit. Hence, it can help to increase the success of project delivery (Kasim, et al., 2005).

Testing

Quality is a prime factor to measure the performance of a project. Quality assurance of building materials is vital in order to create strong durable and cost effective structures (Savitha, n.d.). Each construction project has a different set of specification and requirements. The contractors are required to select and procure suitable construction materials so that they can meet the contract specification. Unless a specific brand and model number is stated, it is advisable to conduct thorough study and analysis of the different material properties to check for its compatibility in the different zones of the building. The materials are only ordered after receiving approval (Low & Ong, 2014). Proper assessment of the various materials is important to ensure quality and durability of the final product.

Procurement 

Procurement is not only about appointing contractors and preparing contract, but is also very much a starting point in the process of delivery (Mead & Gruneberg, 2013).

Activities included in the procurement process range from purchasing of equipment, materials, labour and services required for construction and implementation of a project (Kasim, et al., 2005). Another author has defined procurement as identifying and analysing user requirements and type of purchase, selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, acting as liaison between the supplier and the user, and evaluating and forging strategic alliances with suppliers. For many organizations, materials and components purchased from outside vendors represent a substantial portion of the cost of the end product, and hence effective procurement can significantly enhance the competitive advantage of a project (Morris & Pinto, 2007). Many authors have suggested that choosing best option of procurement can help to reduce the impact of uncertainties such as late deliveries, substandard raw material qualities, resource constraints and so on (Morris & Pinto, 2007). Therefore to successfully deliver a project it is not about adopting a procurement system with best practice tactic to fix all problems, but to embrace an approach that has the best-fit tactic that gets the job done most efficiently (Keith, et al., 2016).

 Logistics 

Logistic is defined as concept that includes movement and it may encompass planning implementing and controlling flow and storage of all goods from raw materials to the finished product to meet customer requirements (Kasim, et al., 2005). For smoothly handling the materials, space need to be carefully allocated for material handling equipment, access roads, warehouses, workshop, and laydown materials in the construction site (Pellicer, et al., 2013). Planning these tasks accurately can help to formulate an efficient construction site layout that can provide easy access and routing of materials within the construction site. Moreover introducing slopes in the construction site can ease the circulation of materials because of the gravity effect. To control access and to increase the security of the site, setup wall or fence can be considered as a requirement for the construction site. Optimum forecasting for material movement (Mahdjoubi & Yang, 2001) and planning of access and routing of materials within construction site (Faniran & Caban, 1998) are factors that need to be taken consideration during logistics process for effective material management.

Handling

Various materials posses’ different features and properties, that makes the handling of materials critical. Effective material handling involves handling, storing and controlling of construction material (Kasim, et al., 2005). Proper protection during storage is often ignored, and this can result poor material quality or material deterioration. Moreover it is also advised that transportation, loading and unloading of material should not be conducted in the rain. It is also recommended that the storage area needs to be enclosed, clean and dry with good air circulation and for some materials need to be stacked on pallets, not more than a certain safe height to prevent dampness and so on (Low & Ong, 2014). By adopting proper material handling and storage will help to keep the material intact and in good quality. And also will reduce loss of profit due to theft, damage and wastage as well as running out of stock (Kasim, et al., 2005).

Stock and waste control 

Material waste is a significant factor in construction cost, Calkins (2009) states material waste is 9% by weight in the Dutch construction industry and 20-30% of purchased materials in the Brazilian construction industry. Material wastes are caused by several sources such as design, procurement, material handling, and operation and so on. Shen et al. (2003) defined building material wastages as the difference between the value of materials delivered and accepted on site. Moreover material waste has been recognized as a major problem in the construction industry and it can also implicate inefficiency in project delivery. Adopting a proper stock control will help to increase the productivity and also can be one of the way to improve waste control in the construction site. By introducing minimizing strategies to reuse materials in both design and construction phase can be a mean to reduce waste (Dainty & Brooke, 2004).

Some authors simplify these stages into distinctive phases. As a matter of fact one of the research done by Manteau (2007) on the material management practices in Ghana explains that the current material management phases in Ghanaian construction industry are bidding phase, sourcing phase, material procurement phase, construction phase and post construction phase. A study conducted in India by Patel & Vyas (2011) has summarized the material management processes into 8 main parts. They were planning, benchmarking, purchasing, receiving, inspection, storage, issuing material and inventory control.

Therefore it is very evident that in various countries these processes are carried out in different ways. There can be many factors that might influence these processes such as culture, work environment, belief and so on. Moreover different groups have learnt to deal with uncertainty in different ways, often because they find themselves faced with different levels of uncertainty. Adams (1965) writes of ‘risk thermostat’ in relation to individuals’ ability to deal with and be comfortable when exposed to risk. Therefore already established material management processes that are being practiced by other countries can be used to identify the processes that are being practiced and those that are neglected in the Nigeria construction industry.

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