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    Production Management

    Coursework Scenario

    The construction industry in the UK (and arguably elsewhere) is presently facing a number of key challenges that have the potential to substantially alter the way in which typical construction output is produced. These challenges are considered below:-


    (i) A Demographic & Skills Shortage Challenge

    The UK is dealing with an ageing population and an ageing workforce. This is true in a general context and in a Construction Industry context. Birth rates in the UK (and elsewhere in the western world) are declining. In general, there are fewer young people entering the workforce and it is a (perhaps) sad reality that a construction career is not considered as attractive by young persons as may have been the case in the past.

    (ii) A Health and Safety Challenge

    Although significant improvements in the Health and Safety record of the UK construction industry have been achieved in recent years, it is still generally considered that continued progress needs to be made so that construction becomes a safer activity for its workforce.

    (iii) An Innovation and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Challenge

    The construction industry in the UK has been, and continues to be considered a slow innovator, with its professionals retaining many traditional production views and conservative attitudes. Although technologically possible the widespread implementation of MMC has arguably still not reached the level that might have been expected in the wake of various reports and calls for its adoption.

    (iv) An Energy and Carbon Management Challenge

    The Governments targets for energy use and pollution prevention, particularly in the area of UK House Construction are substantial. Often this is considered to apply primarily to the performance of completed buildings in terms of the energy they consume. Undoubtedly this is important, but it is also the case that there is a growing carbon and energy management issue and a materials waste issue on the construction site during building production. Previous Government targets set to reduce carbon emissions from construction production have been missed and this area is likely to come under increasing scrutiny in future years.

    (v) A Clients Expectations and Attitudes Challenge

    Clients expect buildings to be delivered effectively and efficiently. There is an increasing demand from clients that their building projects deliver value with greater predictability in terms of performance – this extends to the process of construction as well as to theproduct.These challenges are not independent but rather can be expected to have cumulative and overlapping impacts on future building production.


    Coursework Tasks

    In construction, those managing production are primarily concerned with the management and

    control of:-


    (i) Materials;

    (ii) Plant and Equipment;

    (iii) Professional construction staff and highly skilled trade operatives; and,

    (iv) Available production methods and strategies that can be used to combine the above

    resources in the most effective and efficient ways possible.


    Each of the five challenges outlined in Section 2 can be expected to have separate and combined impacts on each of the four areas of concern listed above for those managing construction production.


    You are tasked with completing an investigation, presented in the form of a discussion paper, in which you are to investigate and evaluate the potential influences and consequences of ONE of the described challenges for future construction production in terms of materials, plant and equipment, human resources and available methods of production. You may choose any of the five described challenges.


    Your discussion paper must be limited to 10 A4 pages (excluding references).

    References must be appropriately cited as necessary in the paper.


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