Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Kirti Ruikar


Business Process Implications of E-Commerce in Construction

Project Title

Business Process Implications of E-Commerce in Construction




Professor C J Anumba
Professor PM Carrillo

Mr G Stevenson

Director of Research:
Professor N M Bouchlaghem

Research Period

2000 - 2004

Business Process Implications of E-Commerce in Construction


The construction industry is a complex industry, involving multiple disciplines working together towards a common goal – The Construction Project. This industry is often referred to as being fragmented in nature with a complex network of communications between the various disciplines. Government reports such as the Egan report and the Latham report have been the main drivers for adopting an innovative and collaborative approach for the working of a construction project. The latest drive towards innovation has motivated the industry into looking towards IT as a vital tool for simplifying the complexity of the construction process. Moreover the combinations of IT solutions and Internet e-commerce have together made it possible to manage and run projects in an efficient manner. These new possibilities can affect the current methods of doing construction. The term e-commerce in this context refers to an application of technology towards the automation of business transactions and workflows.

Aims and Objectives

To evaluate the business process implications of adopting e-commerce in construction organisations.

  • To review related work on e-commerce in the construction industry, including the current use of IT and electronic transactions in the construction industry.
  • To establish relationships between different project partners in the current construction business processes and investigate the impact of e-commerce applications on the business processes identified.
  • To investigate and analyse the business process implications of e-commerce applications on the construction supply chain.
  • To formulate an effective strategy for the uptake of new e-commerce applications in the construction sector.

Method and Current Status

Extensive literature review to obtain thorough understanding of existing e-commerce applications in construction.

  • Conduct exploratory interviews, detailed questionnaires and surveys to investigate the impact of e-commerce applications on construction business processes.
  • Conduct surveys within participating end user companies to establish effectiveness and suitability of specific e-commerce applications.
  • Map solutions to problems/requirements identified in the earlier methods.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

Research in this field will lead to the formulation of effective/profitable strategies for the incorporation of new and upcoming e-commerce applications into the day-to-day working of companies within the construction sector.

Ruikar, K. and Anumba, C.J. (2002). Electronic Commerce in Construction – Trends and Prospects. Automation in Construction, Elsevier Science B.V. Vol.11, (3) pp. 265-275.
DOI: doi:10.1016/S0926-5805(01)00087-5

Ruikar, K., Anumba, C.J., and Carrillo, P.M. (2003). Reengineering Construction Business Process through Electronic Commerce. The TQM Magazine, Special issue: Managing Quality in E-Operations , Emerald Press, UK, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp 197 – 212.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09544780310469343

Ruikar, K., Anumba, C. J., and Carrillo, P. M., (2005). End-user Perspectives on the use of Project Extranets in Construction Organisations. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 12 Iss 3 pp. 222 - 235.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09699980510600099

Ruikar, K.D., Anumba, C.J. And Carrillo, P.M., VERDICT - an E-readiness Assessment Application for Construction Companies, Automation in Construction, 15(1), 1st January 2006, 98-110, ISSN 0926-5805.
DOI: doi:10.1016/j.autcon.2005.02.009

Ruikar, K.D., Anumba, C.J. and Carrillo, P.M. (2002). Industry Perspectives of IT and E-commerce,  I.D. Tommelein, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Concurrent Engineering in Construction, University of California, Berkeley, USA, July, pp. 26-40.

Ruikar, K., Anumba, C.J., Carrillo, P.M., and Stevenson, G., 2001. E-commerce in Construction: Barriers and Enablers,  Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering Computing, B. H. V. Topping (Editor) Civil-Comp Press, Stirling, United Kingdom, Paper 2, 2001.

Ruikar, K., Anumba, C.J., and Carrillo, P.M., 2004. Impact of E-commerce Applications on End-user Business
Processes,  Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on World of Construction Project Management (WCPM), 27-28 May, 2004, Toronto, Canada



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Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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