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Proposal of an Advanced Model for Supply Chain Management in Construction Industries, Based on the Virtual Enterprise
Josep Capó1, Francisco C. Lario1, Angel Ortiz1
Dpto. de Organización de Empresas – Universidad Politécnica de Valencia Camí de Vera s/n; 46022 Valencia (Spain) [pepcapo, fclario, aortiz@omp.upv.es]
Abstract This paper analyses the current situation of the construction sector bystudying the different trends that have been followed by construction enterprises, in order to adapt to the changes in this field which have required a change from traditional management models to different models better suited for the new situation. This paper proposes an advanced Model based on Enterprise inter and intra integration, capable of dealing with the strategic changes performed onthe construction supply chain (vertical alliances and vertical diversification) using, as a starting point, the concept of Enterprise Integration in the context of the Supply Chain and the concepts of Extended and Virtual Enterprises. Keywords Enterprise integration, Virtual Enterprise, Supply Chain, Construction.

1 Introduction
Recently, there have been some changes in customer expectations,which can be seen in the fact that they look for products that are adapted to their needs. In the construction sector there is a notable increase in clients who are not looking for standardized or low cost products, but quality and personalized products that adapt to their specific needs. Because of this, they actively collaborate in the construction project definition, which finally becomes a truly“personalized product”, even though it may be at a higher cost. In construction projects, one finds that, at each stage, one or various companies could participate, and each of them could have different business areas, acting as independent companies. A new model for managing the supply chain corresponding to each construction project is necessary to achieve this “made to measure” product. A fullimplication of all partners must be achieved, creating an environment of collaboration and mutual trust. This paper proposes an advanced management model that provides answers to these aforementioned situations, creating a model for inter and intra enterprise integration for each Construction Project Supply Chain, based on the concepts of Enterprise Integration and Virtual Enterprises.

2Analysis of the Construction sector
2.1 The problem of periodicity

Construction is a very periodic activity with generally higher fluctuation intensity than that of the rest of the economy. This problem arises in building activities and civil

constructions alike, although their circumstances differ and so do the possibilities of attenuating these cycles [Leonard, Garola, 2001]. In the first ofthe cases mentioned, buying a house is a very important decision for the economic future of a family and therefore it is a process highly influenced by the fluctuations in economy and the evolution of interest rates. These factors also affect nonresidential buildings since they are directly influenced by the profitability of investments. In the case of civil works, periodicity is defined by theirmain client, the administration. During economically recessive periods, the government usually postpones investments until more prosperous times when investments in the field are incremented. The evolution of the field in the last fifteen years illustrates that the effect of periodicity is higher in Spain than in other European countries. Fluctuations in civil works have been higher than inbuilding works, which remarks the clear responsibility of the government in this area.

2.2

Changes in the environment

After the crisis experimented by this sector and during the 90’s, several changes, both internal and in the surrounding market and environment, occurred within this field [Parada 2002]: • • • • • • Concentrations of enterprises via mergers and purchases Changes on the...
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