E-business and e-procurement in the construction industry : a study of the impact of e-business and e-procurement on the construction industry in Ireland

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Ferguson, John
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Business Information Management
Dublin Business School
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The object of this exercise is to look at the current context of the construction industry in Ireland and evaluate where competitive advantage can be achieved by use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT's) particularly in the strategic area of e-procurement and e- business. The research undertaken provides a framework for understanding the main areas where competitive advantage may be gained through the adoption of E-business principles. The investigation highlights a common strategy that seeks to fully integrate all supply chain processes in order to leverage buying power and reduce variable costs. The difficult economic environment now facing the construction industry means it must increase competitiveness, by increasing productivity and decreasing costs, through the use of converging ICT's and improved supply chain management. Project collaborative tools have started to facilitate this model, and allow organisations to develop and integrate existing resources in terms of human resource, capital resource, IT resource, and as a by-product, Knowledge Resource. Actually realising the anticipated benefits of e-business using these tools is a major challenge and may have been more costly and time consuming than anticipated. From a review of the research undertaken of E-business adoption in the construction sector, there is a division among the stakeholders as to the value and benefits to be gained from this form of knowledge management. E-business adoption in this industry will be slow, and will only occur through a process of mentoring, sharing experience and knowledge and demonstrating growth through tangible benefits. This is an industry that by nature doesn't measure intangible results.