Coordination of material flows to and from project sites: The case of an exhibition centre
Paper in proceedings, 2007
A multitude of organisations with varying material needs are often involved in activities at project sites. This makes the use of collective project resources, like material handling resources at project sites, demanding. However, to ensure project success it is important that material flows needed to support activities undertaken at project sites are not disrupted as this can result in unnecessary costs and low customer service. The purpose of this paper is therefore to analyse how material flows to and from project sites can be coordinated and how project characteristics might impact on how this is done. To do this, empirical data from a primarily qualitative case study undertaken at a Swedish exhibition centre used for multiple fairs has been collected. Findings illustrate how significant improvements can be achieved in the management of material flows to and from project sites if the material handling needs of the project participants are known in advance and the utilization of critical logistical resources is planned accordingly. The coordination of material flows for fairs are, however, impeded by fair characteristics like short project duration, heterogeneous material flows and fair diversity. Further research on coordination of material flows to and from project sites is suggested as the logistical problems observed in the studied case are likely to exist at other project sites with restricted access as well.