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It is well known that the adoption of information technology in materials procurement in the construction industry has been sporadic and piecemeal. Very significant inefficiencies and problems still exist in both paper transactions and non-integrated electronic solutions. There is a general lack of awareness and take-up of information communication technologies (ICT) within the Irish construction material purchasing supply chain. In order to verify this contention a methodology was adopted which involved the design and distribution of an on-line questionnaire to over 100 Irish construction companies. The survey was designed to ascertain the current level of technology take-up in business-to-business (B2B) purchasing transactions between building contractors and material suppliers; the driving forces which attract firms to adopt electronic purchasing; the barriers which have prevented some from doing so; and future developments which are perceived as important in encouraging more widespread adoption of technology within the Irish construction supply chain. Key results include a low level of awareness of appropriate technologies and the absence of appropriate industry standards. Recommendations include the introduction of standards for electronic data interchange in B2B purchasing transactions and the need for an increase in the ICT literacy skills of purchasing staff and familiarity with electronic purchasing.
Hore, A.V. and West, R.P., (2005a), ‘Attitudes towards electronic purchasing in the Irish construction industry”, 2005 CIB W92/T23/W107 International Symposium on Procurement Systems, Las Vegas, USA, pp. 289-296.