Managing construction logistics. By Gary Sullivan, Stephen Barthorpe and Stephen Robbins, Wiley-Blackwell, London, 2010. 304pp, ISBN 978-1-4051-5124-5, £49.99 (hb)
Every major industry except construction uses logistics to improve its bottom line… Poor logistics is costing the construction industry at least £3 billion a year according to a report – ‘Improving Construction Logistics’ – published by the Strategic Forum for Construction. Additional costs arise as a result of operatives waiting for materials, and skilled craftsmen being used for unskilled jobs. Inadequate management of logistics also has an adverse effect on quality, causes delays to projects, and adds to the health and safety risks on site. This practical book highlights the benefits of good logistics as well as the use of consolidation centres on projects. It shows how reduction in transport movements, less money tied up in stock, less waste, and the more efficient use of skilled craftsmen will reduce the cost of projects, reduce construction time, improve quality, reduce risks to health and safety, improve environmental performance and generally improve the image of the industry. The authors offer practical ways of achieving these benefits through integrated project teams and supply chains and the increased adoption of information technology including electronic communications, bar coding, and electronic tagging for tracing products. They also show how specific roles for each part of the industry can help to improve logistics.