While materials count for a considerable amount of construction costs, the way materials are managed seems to be improvised rather than approached methodically. This study investigates the practice of novel techniques used to manage materials in the construction industry. Techniques that have already proven themselves to be efficient ways to manage the production pace within the industry include the pull system, Just-In-Time, Kitting and off-site fabrication. These are explained and assessed in the context of the French construction industry through an exploratory study, supported by a questionnaire completed by contractors. The results reveal that a clear plan to manage materials on-site is lacking among the respondents, creating common inventory problems. This research provides evidence to support the central role played by an efficient management of material flow on-site. It also highlights the obstacles that hinder the adoption of innovative techniques, such as sub-contractor coordination.
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