THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MATERIAL MANAGEMENT AND SCHEDULE PROJECT COMPLETION TIME

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MATERIAL MANAGEMENT AND SCHEDULE PROJECT COMPLETION TIME

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Construction projects in Nigeria are worth Billions of Naira, it is of great importance that construction management practice is given great attention, including the best practice methods of construction and it challenges. Moreover, construction management makes adequate provision of necessary leadership and motivates employees to complete their tasks within a particular time frame. Serious concerns has been expressed about construction projects which have not been delivered in various parts of the country after huge financial mobilizations has been made. The practice of construction management requires appropriate skills and techniques that go beyond technical expertise only. It encompasses good and sound management skills to manage resources within the budget, monitor the progress of work, prepare job schedule and unpredicted outcomes, while at the same time dealing with people and organizational issues (Abbasi & Al-Mharmah, 2000). The application of construction management practice is an efficient approach which would aid in improving management capabilities and enable the construction sector to efficiently deliver projects and attain developmental objectives (Arnaboldi, 2004). The need for professionalism in the practice of construction management assumes special significance in order to ensure that the huge resources invested in the construction industry are deployed efficiently for the benefits of Nigerians (Gahlot, 2002). The application of modern construction management method in practice has a great effect in the construction sector. In Nigeria, the practice of construction management has not been well defined; this resulted in failure by contractors in performing their duties concerning the budget, specifications and deadlines of project awarded. However, when practiced efficiently it would result in tangible benefits in all aspects of planning, scheduling, monitoring the time, cost and specification of the project. In the practice of construction management, experience, quality of the materials used in the project will be of great importance amongst others. According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 8402, 1994), Quality can be defined as the totality of characteristics of xvii an entity that bear on its inability to satisfy stated or implied needs (Project Management Institute, 2000). The special conditions affecting the project are reflected during the planning and organizing stage of the construction to ensure that quality is fully built in even before the actual construction takes off (Idike, 2004). In construction management, the level of competency of a project manager may directly or indirectly affect the project. The information flow process determines the nature, quality and timeliness of project execution. A weak link in the process, such as lack of project management competence could adversely affect timely execution / timely completion of projects (Dainty et al., 2003). According to Cookie - Davies (2001), project management is a tool for project success; it is people who deliver projects and not processes and systems. Effective project management is a derivative of competency and authority levels

1.2    STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

The present state of the building construction industry in Nigeria reflects various problems ranging from delays in project execution/delivery, substandard work, disputes, to cost and time overrun as a result of material shortage and wastages on sites, theft and displacement of materials on sites, as well as poor accounting and security system of the concerned sites/firms (Adafin, 2011). According to Dahiru (2010), lack of materials not only causes delays, but a consequent decrease in productivity and resulting to cost overruns. This is no doubt lack of effective material management is one of the major cause of this problem. Failure of the project manager to make available materials need could lead to delay. Non-compliance strictly with project bill of quantities, schedule of materials, specifications and construction programme in material stock control practice is another contributing factor which tends gradually to decrease profitability of a project also often leads to extension of time respectively, and hence no proper material stock control practice (Inyang Udoh, 2002). Besides that, Dey (2001) noted that the rate at which materials are being wasted due to improper management is becoming unbearable to the contractors due to its effect on their profit margin and proper usage of material to achieve quality job been done through various techniques.

1.3    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY                             

A major part of professional builder’s responsibility in building production management entails the selection, purchase, testing, storing and use of construction materials. As noted earlier, materials are a major expense in construction, thus the ability of contractor to manage his team and the flow of supplies are absolutely necessary for the successful project delivery and profit maximization. This requires the architects and engineers to specify exact supplies during preconstruction to avoid overstock. The construction management team is required to buy the correct amount of material at the right time to avoid cash flow, storage and deterioration problems. Subcontractors need to keep track of inventories, while suppliers are required to deliver as ordered and on time. The post-construction team has to evaluate remaining materials for reuse and recycling purposes.

However, this is not easy; First, if materials are purchased early, capital may be tied up and interest charges incurred on the excess inventory of materials. Even worse, materials may deteriorate during storage or be stolen unless special care is taken. For example, electrical equipment often must be stored in waterproof locations. Second, delays and extra expenses may be incurred if materials required for particular activities are not available. Accordingly, ensuring a timely flow of material is an important concern of project managers. (Harris and MacCaffer, 2001)

Thus, to determine the misery behind proper material management and project completion time technique in construction sites in Nigeria, so as to guide against project delay and abandonment, also to create a standard method based on size of construction site to control cost of contract and materials wastage. It is not only desirable but necessary to undertake careful study of material management. Additionally, since Proper material management will benefit the firm in terms of increase profit margin, quick execution and reduce cost of the project. This brings the need for an evaluation of material management and project completion time technique in Nigeria construction industry.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following are the research questions as related to this study.

1.  What are the principle and procedures of good material management and project completion time technique? 

2.  What is the current practice of material management and project completion time technique?

3.  What are the factors militating against material management and project completion time technique on construction sites?

4.  What are the measures to be put in place to ensure effective material management and project completion time technique on construction sites?

1.5   AIM AND OBJECTIVES                                     

1.5.1   Aim

To assess the relationship between material management and schedule project completion time

.

1.5.2   Objectives

The specific objectives of this research are;

1.  To establish theoretical frame work on construction material management and project completion time technique. 

2.  To study the practices of construction material management and schedule project completion time by construction firms in Nigeria

3.   To investigate the factors militating against effective material management and project completion time technique on construction site in Nigeria 

4. To assess professionals perception on the measures to be put in place to ensure effective material management and project completion time technique in the construction industry in Nigeria. 

1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In order to achieve the objectives of this research, the work was pursued through the following;

1.6.1 Literature Review

Relevant literatures were reviewed from various textbooks, past projects, journal, government gazette, and internet materials etc. so as to articulate existing knowledge on how effective construction material management is carried out.

1.6.2 Field Survey

Primary data were collected using structured questionnaire as the instrument of the study to those that are responsible for material management and project completion time technique in construction firms. Besides that, Personal interview of professionals were used to generate data in relation to the stated objectives. This was carried out by visiting the building construction site under construction. The head offices of these construction firms across Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna were also visited.

1.6.3 Analysis of Result          

Data analyses were undertaken using descriptive statistics. Frequency, means, percentages and standard deviation were used to express the statistical result. This was achieved using Microsoft excel and statistical package for the social science (SPSS) soft wares.

1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION

This work focused on material management and project completion time technique practices in Nigeria’s construction sites. The study covered factors militating against material management and project completion time technique, measures for effective material management and project completion time technique on construction firms. The study was limited to only building construction sites in Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna, therefore not all the country was covered. Site waste management was not part of this research.


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