BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Materials management is an important function in order to improve productivity in construction projects. According to Bell and Stukhart (1986) materials management functions include "material requirement planning and material take ox vendor evaluation and selection, purchasing, expenditure, shipping, material receiving, warehousing and inventory, and material distribution". This is concerned with the planning and controlling process to ensure that the right quality and quantity of materials and installed equipment are appropriately specified in a timely manner, obtained at reasonable cost and are available when needed. Materials management involves the logistics of the materials components of a supply chain which involves the process of planning, implementing and controlling of the movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point-of-origin to point-of consumption. The management of materials should be considered from the phases of the construction process and throughout the construction period. Generally, construction materials are bulky, expensive and are supplied in large amounts to construction sites. Therefore, there is a need for an excellent management system for handling materials.
Labour, material, tools, equipment and cash are the main parts of any construction project. Material management is the system for planning and controlling to ensure that the right quality and quantity of materials and equipment are specified in a timely manner. Materials should be obtained at a reasonable cost, and be available for use when needed. The cost of materials represents a large proportion of the cost. Our analysis of project cost for civil engineering projects showed the materials and plant component can be up to 70% of the project cost dependent upon the type of project and the extent of mechanization and plant used, whilst on commercial building and housing projects the proportion is around 45%-50%. The sample size used was small, nine projects, however in interviews with estimators the findings were validated by professional judgment. A good management system for materials management will lead to benefits for construction. Cash flow has become crucial for the survival of any business, if materials are purchased early, capital may be tied up and interest charges incurred on the excess inventory of material. Material may deteriorate during storage or be stolen; also delays and extra expense may be incurred if materials required for particular activities are not available. Despite the importance of the materials, very little research has been directed towards understanding the management of materials from order to production; most research is focused upon the management of the design and procurement process and on labour site productivity. Materials management, which includes procurement, shop fabrication, logistics, supply chain management, production on site, and field servicing, requires special attention to achieve cost reduction. The supply chain is a convenient term used to describe a complex web of activities. The use of new equipment and innovative methods of materials handling has influenced changes in construction technologies in recent years. Modern methods of material management have been embraced by the manufacturers across a wide range of industry sectors outside of construction. Some lessons have been learned from the automotive and retail sectors, like just-in-time deliveries. Containerisation, mobile craneage with grab loaders, and mechanised handling has influenced the design of lorries. However, construction enterprises have not embraced advanced methods of materials management, partly because of the fragmented and long supply chain, and also because of their size and ability to afford new practices and procedures. It is not that they are disinterested. Any improvement in the supply chain will result in higher efficiency of supplying materials, lowering the costs and increasing the profits.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The poor management of strategies of project construction materials by contractors have been common in the Nigerian construction industry as this has led to increase of several abandon projects or even completed projects that consumed more than what it should take ideally. The material management in the construction sector has caused more harm in the society as many projects so called completed have failed or collapsed thus leading to the loss of lives and properties which has by extension affected the social and infrastructural growth in the Nigeria.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to evaluate material management strategies and its impact of construction project performance in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are;
H0: There is no significant impact of material management on performance of companies.
H1: There is significant impact of material management on performance of companies.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study should be of immense importance or benefit towards the improvement of construction projects and the increase in performance of construction projects as it assesses the impact of material management on construction project delivery and performance. The study would also be of immense importance to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter by proving useful literature.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the impact of material management strategies on construction project performance in Nigeria using Julius berger Construction Company in Lagos as a case study.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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