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Paper w78-2000-863:
Information logistics for construction inter-organizational systems

Facilitated by the SciX project

Soibelman L, Caldas C

Information logistics for construction inter-organizational systems

Abstract: "Recent advances in the area of communications, distributed computing, multimedia and information integration triggered new alternatives for construction management. Information technologies, like the Internet, distributed object management and other infrastructure and standards-based technologies, have been utilized to enhance the ability to integrate information from multiple sources. The American construction industry is adopting some of these technologies, in order to improve collaboration, coordination and information exchange among organizations that will work in a construction project. Among these technologies, project extranet is one that has been increasingly adopted. The introduction of project extranets by the American construction industry is not a radical technological innovation. Their development, in the adopted configuration, is based on the automation of existing organizational processes and workflows. The fact that it did not introduce significant changes is facilitating its adoption, even by the most traditional project members, in one industry that is considered very conservative. While this gradual process helped the acceptance of the project extranets by the construction industry, on the other hand it has presented information-related problems and also limited the potential of this information technology. Most of these problems and limitations are due to the fact that, traditionally, information systems were developed inside the scope of individual companies. Now boundaries between construction organizations have weakened and we need to develop methodologies and criteria to be adopted during the implementation and utilization of information systems to work in this new scenario. Networked information systems that are used by multiple construction organizations are called, in this paper, construction interorganizational information systems. This paper presents the advantages of applying an information logistics approach to support collaboration and coordination in construction interorganizational information systems. Information logistics is defined here as the maintenance, tracking, monitor and enactment of information flows between construction organizations. The objective of the development of an information logistics approach in construction is to enact and support interorganizational systems in order to assure that the accurate and relevant information will be on the right place at the appropriate time and with the required quality. The proposed information logistics approach is based on a three-step process. The first step involves mapping the existing construction process and its associate network of information flows in order to discover the interfaces among different construction information and identify information-related problems. The second step suggests the creation of metadata to be associated to each construction document. These metadata are supposed to add to the existing documents, additional data that would increase the quality of the information and also the ability to monitor, keep track, maintain and enact relevant construction information. The third step involves the development of a logistics system based on the knowledge and information obtained from the previous steps. This system is intended to become our prototype of a construction interorganizational information system."



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Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.036923) class.man-man (0.015190) class.collaboration (0.010514)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by Icelandic Building Research Institute. The assistance of the editor, Mr. Gudni Gudnason, is gratefully appreciated


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