Utilisation of forecasting technology for improving construction logistics in Nigeria
Keywords:construction, DM, ERP, IRES, MRP, forecasting, logistics, technology
The need to investigate new technology for forecasting purposes in construction logistics is due to the fact that the forecasting ability (modern technology utilisation) of the Nigerian construction sector, in terms of logistics management, is relatively low when compared to manufacturing and retailing industries. This is affecting the performance of the construction sector. Moreover, the current logistics technologies used for forecasting operations in the Nigerian construction industry are relatively inefficient and insufficiently investigated to inspire new logistics technologies for the construction industry. Hence, this article investigated how forecasting logistics technologies could be utilised in manufacturing and retailing industries, in order to improve the forecasting processes of construction logistics. Lagos State and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, formed the selected geographical scope of the study, from which five manufacturing; five retailing companies, and five construction projects were purposely selected. A mixed methods research strategy were used. The research instruments included an observation guide (quantitative) and semi-structured interviews (qualitative). The collected quantitative data were analysed, using descriptive analytical tools: frequencies and percentiles. The qualitative data was analysed, using the thematic method. The results revealed that all the observed manufacturing industries (100%) adopted the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology for forecasting purposes in the following areas: material, demand, product, and production forecast. Of the observed companies in the manu-facturing and retailing industries, 80% and 40%, respectively, adopted the Material Requirement Planning (MRP) technology for forecasting purposes. Only 20% (one project) of the observed construction projects adopted the MRP technology for fore-casting in the following: 5% for demand forecast (demand control); 6.7% for material forecast (stock control), and 20% for product forecast (product output). It was also revealed that utilisation of the forecasting technology in construction could have the following benefits: proper resource planning; improved production scheduling; reduction in inventory; effective treatment of scheduling problems, and efficiency of the supply-chain system. Results showed that effective tilisation of forecasting technology in the logistics system of the construction industry could lead to full efficiency gains in forecasting logistics of the construction industry. It is recommended that the Nigerian construction industry should leverage on this, in order to create the best ways of handling the forecasting technology to improve the forecasting logistics systems of the construction process.
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