Supplier-contractor coordination approach to managing demand fluctuations of ready-mix concrete

Qian Chen, Borja García de Soto, Bryan T. Adey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although advancements have been made in the management of projects due to the digitalization and automation technologies, the efficient use of digital data is still lacking for the coordination of the supply chain. This paper presents an approach that allows data-driven and schedule-oriented supply chain coordination in the face of demand fluctuations. The approach consists of two main steps that contractors should take: 1) monitor the demand fluctuations based on a 4D model that captures the as-built status and updated look-ahead schedules, 2) make decisions to modify original orders to accommodate the demand fluctuations where orders are determined by a heuristic evolutionary algorithm. As a proof of concept, the coordination approach is demonstrated using an example project featuring a five-day in-situ construction of concrete walls. Results from this example show that using the approach improves the responsiveness of concrete planning and ordering. As a result, this leads to improved collaboration between suppliers and contractors in construction projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103423
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • BIM
  • Construction supply chain
  • Coordination
  • Covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy (CMA-ES)
  • Integration
  • Perishable materials
  • Ready-mix concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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