The criticality of mechanical plant to construction activity is well accepted within the literature; however, the supply chain mechanisms by which that demand is satisfied, are much less documented or understood. The purpose of this paper is to address this theoretical gap by: describing Construction Plant Supply Chain (CPSC) evolvement; identifying with present sector difficulties; discussing solutions to those difficulties; and considering the role of innovation within CPSC (historically and for the future).
A mixed‐method research, i.e. qualitative and preliminary, including literature review, case study inquiry of an established multi‐purpose CPSC player, and open question survey of a limited sample of CPSC stakeholders has been employed in this study. Inductive data analysis via textual interrogation is undertaken.
In reaction to market forces and business challenges, CPSC evolution demonstrated innovative change from former contractor‐held plant fleets to predominantly private sector “external” supply chains. Of late, CPSC challenges have intensified, given its intrinsic relationship to a depressed UK (and global) economy, dependency on capital investment, and the need for sustained demand. Suggestions to encounter present challenges have been made and a difficult medium‐term future signified.
As a preliminary study, generalisation of findings should be viewed in a limited context; however, given the dearth of research in this subject, the findings make novel contribution to the CPSC literature while signposting fertile avenues for future and more comprehensive research.
No previous research in this specific field has been identified.
Holt, G. and Edwards, D. (2012), "Innovation or business survival? A preliminary, qualitative study of UK construction plant supply chains", Construction Innovation, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 99-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/14714171211197526Download as .RIS
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