SUMMARY: The possibilities afforded by E-business are evident, but the level of implementation and penetration was not as expected within the construction industry. The potential benefits for construction are suggested by the E-business accomplishments in other industries. Yet its poor uptake (less than 20% of documentation is currently tendered electronically) suggests the unpopularity of e-procurement in UK construction. Many drivers and barriers to general e procurement have been identified in published literature. Previous studies in the US (Davila et al, 2003, Minahan and Degan, 2001) and Australia (Hawking et al, 2004) have ranked these drivers and barriers for the general procurement of goods and services. In previous research, Eadie et al (2007) ranked the drivers and barriers to e-procurement from a construction contractor’s perspective in the Northern Ireland public sector in a pilot study for this current research. In the current research, a focus group was established consisting of five domain experts, who represented the various aspects and levels of expertise of construction procurement, namely: web-based materials procurement, e-auctions, compact disc write once (CDR) e-tendering, the contractor’s perspective and electronic document production. This group produced a comprehensive list of construction based e-procurement drivers and barriers. A detailed questionnaire for a web-based survey was produced from the findings of this focus group to ascertain the importance rankings of these drivers and barriers. A telephone survey of all Quantity Surveyors within the United Kingdom, listed on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website, identified those who used e-procurement. This was followed by a web-based questionnaire survey of the identified organisations on e-procurement for construction based activities. This paper presents the findings of the driver and barrier verification study and the driver and barrier importance ranking survey. Further research will link the drivers and barriers to e-procurement to the five maturity levels in Paulk’s maturity model through factor analysis. This research and development will result in the production of a tool to analyse the e-readiness of an organisation, and hopefully this tool will allow them to harness drivers and to mitigate barriers.
|Journal of Information Technology in Construction
|Published - 2010