The Digital Supply Chain: Mobilising Supply Chain Management Philosophy to Reconceptualise Digital Technologies and Building Information Modelling (BIM)


Supply Chain (SC) thinking in construction emerged in the mid-1990s. It followed SC adaptations in manufacturing, as cybernetics and developing information capabilities in the 1950s, provided a fertile ground for regulating and optimising the physical distribution of goods. Because these information capabilities improved the quality and profitability of firms, inevitably SCs gained strategic importance for management and procurement. In construction flows are correlated. After all, material and information are two sides of the same coin. Both SCM and BIM have evolved from product-related and tangible concepts to human-centred constructs that affect various multi-actor networks in construction’s institutional environment. Surprisingly, similarly to the relational and actor-related meaning that the concept of SCM carries nowadays, also BIM has been linked not only to coordination of technological artefacts, but also to complex socio-technical processes to align actors and information. Subsequently, this chapter draws upon theory to discuss not only the compatibility, relevance, and topicality of SCM and BIM concepts in today’s construction, but also outline implications for policy-makers and industrial leaders who wish to take the integration of the construction SC forward.

In Successful Construction Supply Chain Management, Concepts and Case Studies, Second Edition. Edited by Stephen Pryke
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Associate Professor in Management of Engineering Projects

Researcher and consultant at the intersection of management and digital economy