Construction Project Performance Improvement through Radio Frequency Identification Technology Application on a Project Supply Chain

Heng Wang, Purdue University


Construction project productivity typically lags other industries and it has been the focus of numerous studies in order to improve the project performance. This research investigated the application of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology on construction projects’ supply chain and determined that RFID technology can improve the performance of construction projects. The focus of this research is on the performance impact of RFID on the project schedule through the integration of this technology into the project supply chain. RFID technology is widely used in many industry sectors and it has become the subject of research studies on the construction industry too. However, the majority of these studies investigated the technical feasibility of RFID application and simply extended the technical feasibility into potential cost savings. This research instead brings RFID application into the context of a construction project’s supply chain. The construction supply chain suffers from uncertainties that shows up as material unavailable cases such as delayed materials, missing and defective materials. This research proposes that these uncertainties can be mitigated by applying RFID technology to the construction supply chain and the project performance can be improved. Industry practices were surveyed to establish a typical industrial construction supply chain model. Simulations of the typical model were conducted to demonstrate the effect on project performance by applying RFID technology. A real world construction project was also studied and actual effect of RFID application and the construction supply chain were examined accordingly. The findings concluded that RFID technology provided timely material availability information and improved the supply chain on-time performance and had the potential to improve the construction project schedule performance.




Hubbard, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Management|Information Technology|Civil engineering

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