Utilisation of order processing technology for logistics process improvement in the Nigerian construction industry
Keywords:barcoding, construction industry, logistics, order processing, technology
The logistic technologies for effective and efficient ‘order processing operations’ in the areas of tracking, shipping, replenishment, dispatching and holding of inventory are deficient in the Nigerian construction industry, when compared to manufacturing and retailing sectors. This is confirmed to have a significant effect on the performance of the construction sector. This article assessed how order processing technology utilised by manufacturing and retail industries could improve the order processing logistics operations of the construction industry. Lagos State and the F.C.T. Abuja, Nigeria, were the selected geographical study areas, from which five manufacturing companies, five retailing companies and five construction projects were purposively selected. Mixed methods research strategy was used. The research instruments included an observation guide (quantitative) and semi-structured interviews (qualitative). The collected quantitative data was analysed, using descriptive analytical tools: frequencies and percentiles. The qualitative data was analysed, using the thematic method. The result revealed that 80% and 100% of the manufacturing and retailing industries, respectively, observed, adopted barcoding technology for order processing purposes. Only 40% of the observed construction project adopted barcoding technology for order processing in the following: 2.4% for receiving process; 0.9% for put-away process; 0.9% for shipping process (stock control); 1.2% for dispatching process; 0.6% for replenishment process, and 1.2% for tracking inventory (stock tracking). In addition, 100% and 80% of the manufacturing and retailing industries, respectively, observed, adopted Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for order processing purposes. Only 40% of the observed construction projects adopted RFID technology for order processing. It was also revealed that utilisation of the order processing technology could have the following benefits: managerial control in the construction industry; shorter processing time; easy way of tracking materials on site, and increased speed of work in the construction industries. The research concludes that effective utilisation of order processing technology in the logistics system could lead to full efficiency gains in the order processing aspect of the construction industry. It is recommended that the Federal Government of Nigeria should mandate all major construction project stakeholders to attend workshops on the use of recent technologies in the management of construction operations.
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