Supply chain digital twin concept gains government backing

A joint proposal from Professional Construction Strategies Group (PCSG), the Construction Products Association (CPA) and tech company MK9 Development to create a digitally connected supply chain model for the construction industry has secured backing from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The project, worth £475,000, will test the hypothesis that through the model developed, clients and supply chains get better outcomes by:

  • Defining objective, testable outcome-based requirements at each transaction point;
  • Clarifying information requirements and linking delivery to procurement;
  • Procuring products and services along the supply chain from reliable BIM data;
  • Linking requirements to ensure the value of offers being procured are clearly identified;
  • Updating the model at every transaction point to provide live updates on progress.

The improved results generated by an outcomes-based digital approach to the supply chain have already been seen in other sectors. MK9 Development has delivered platforms across several industries including healthcare and transport, which have typically delivered a 25% faster procurement process; typical savings of 8% on everything procured through the platforms; and a 95+% success rate in delivering products and services at the right cost, to the right quality and on time.

The project outputs will include:

  • A published methodology to measure the benefits of supply chain integration;
  • Data requirements for supply chain digital twins and procurement;
  • Impact analysis of supply chain digital twins and integrated supply chains for construction;
  • A minimum viable product (MVP) of an outcomes-based procurement platform for construction;
  • Case studies of the application of these models to real projects.

Steve Thompson, PCSG’s digital manufacturing lead, said: “We need to build safer, better-performing assets more quickly, more efficiently and with less resource. With the proposed model, we believe we can also identify the right mix of products, skills and tools and information to deliver better outcomes through the lifecycle of an asset.”

Peter Caplehorn, deputy chief executive and policy director of the CPA, said: “Digitalisation of the whole industry and, more importantly, the supply chain is critical to its future success. CPA is delighted to be involved and we are sure this will bring real benefits to our members. This project supports and complements our other digital programmes.”

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is a part of the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7bn over four years.

For further information, contact [email protected], or follow @supplydigitwin on Twitter.

Illustration: Wrightstudio/

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