Opportunities for the use and provision of information in the construction value chain

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TKK dissertations, 115
Information is an essential part of the construction value chain. In the early parts of the process information is all there is, in the later parts, information is a prerequisite for managing the process, for trade and communication between the participants in the process, and for the use of the buildings. Construction produces not only buildings, but also information about them. Important, but often unnoticed, actors in the construction industry are the infomediaries, who provide all parties with information. This information has traditionally been stored and distributed on paper, but exists now in digital form and consists mainly of text, pictures, computer files and, to some extent, software, i.e. information goods. The internet has changed the border conditions for the infomediaries. It has created new business opportunities, and threatened the existence of companies who fail to re-engineer their operations. Infomediaries need to adopt a technical solution with internet-based services using a multi-tier architecture, which has separate parts for data storage, data maintenance, and data output. This platform can then be used to provide information goods, and focus needs to be on the value for the customer. In order to gain a deeper understanding of value the author has, through the medium of a formal model, described the construction value network, where parts of the value chain relevant to the pursuit of customer value are modelled. The model can provide a helpful description of where information is produced and provided in order to help to pinpoint where and how value is produced. One central user of information provided by infomediaries is the architect. When computer programs came into use in the architects' practises, there were prejudices towards the new technology and arguments that it might limit the creativity of the architect. Via the use of a triangular division of design work into creative, combinatorial and registering work, areas can be indicated where the use of computers can be beneficial. These areas coincide with the areas where the service offerings of infomediaries could be found. Traditionally, value is dealt with as something that is inherent in the product; it is often seen as a part of brand building or the efforts of marketing, and can be produced and delivered as part of the product and then handed over to the customer. Later research argues that value cannot be pre-produced. It treats value as something co-produced by the customer throughout the relationship, partly in interactions between the customer and the supplier or the service provider. Value is produced and consumed simultaneously. Infomediaries need to gain a thorough understanding of their customers' business processes. Instead of producing products (or services), they can to become facilitators of value for their customers.
infomediaries, construction value chain, customer value, e-business, CAD
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  • [Publication 1]: Christer Finne. 1992. The building process, CAD and the core of the architectural enterprise. Nordisk Arkitekturforskning (Nordic Journal of Architectural Research), volume 5, number 4, pages 69-79. © 1992 Nordic Association of Architectural Research. By permission.
  • [Publication 2]: Christer Finne. 2003. How the Internet is changing the role of construction information middlemen: the case of construction information services. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon), volume 8, Special Issue eWork and eBusiness, pages 397-412. © 2003 by author.
  • [Publication 3]: Christer Finne. 2006. Publishing building product information: a value net perspective. Construction Innovation, volume 6, number 2, pages 79-96.
  • [Publication 4]: Christer Finne. 2007. Perceived customer value in construction information services. In: Daniel Rebolj (editor), Bringing ICT knowledge to work, Proceedings of the 24th CIB W78 Conference on Information Technology in Construction, University Library Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia, 26-29 June 2007, pages 125-133.