15 Mar

Existing material and supplier selection practices in the construction industry are time-consuming and error-prone due to reliance on human judgment and personal communication with a limited number of suppliers. To address this problem, the present paper focuses on developing a new Material and Supplier Selection Model (MSSM) to identify the best selection of construction materials and suppliers based on: (1) unique characteristics of construction projects such as project location, quantity of work, and material/product specifications; (2) characteristics of suppliers and vendors such as price, delivery time, and quality; and (3) characteristics of materials such as performance, and environmental impacts. The model is integrated with updatable databases of materials and suppliers that include: (1) suppliers’ data such as name, location, and lead time; and (2) materials data such as model, specifications, and costs. The developed MSSM is implemented using the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method due to its capability of executing computations for problems containing both qualitative and quantitative criteria. An example project for material and supplier selection is used to demonstrate the MSSM use and document its new capabilities. The present model is expected to support contractors, construction managers, and decision-makers in selecting the best suppliers and materials based on specified criteria such as cost, time, and environmental impacts.


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