Constructions projects are one of the most common activities we encounter in our lives, yet it is also known as one of the most difficult humankind endeavours. As a matter of fact each project consist of sophisticated and complex processes which need to be carried out by different individuals of different professionals, who have special set of skills and knowledge. All the talent and skills have to be channelled towards a common goal to producing the project. To accomplish this goal, time and money are required. At the end these construction projects, provide us with facilities that are useful, functional, visually pleasing and enjoyable to occupy. This journey is called the project delivery process (Construction Specification Institute, 2011). Effective delivery is all about the control and management of uncertainty. Therefore one needs to identify the uncertainty related to the project and sculpt the best strategy to deliver the project so that the chances of success are increased.
Hence steering the way for accomplishing successful project is all about knowing all the tactics to tackle our way through the impending obstacles. So identifying these obstacles are crucial in order to confront them. Thereby a lot of researchers have immersed themselves in various studies to identify the causes of delay and cost overrun happening in various projects. The analyses on these factors have been carried on different contexts over a long period of time. This continuous effort on finding the causes or the factors for delay and cost overrun are more or less generated similar results and only the ranking have been swapped between the different context and time. Although the repetitiveness in this approach is observed, a change in perspective can provide an interesting insight in a common pattern in these factors. For instance, issues regarding construction materials have been highly ranked in both delay and cost overrun factors and also it is a common factor that is mentioned in almost all the research done on this area. Hence this ignites the curiosity to unfold the relationship between construction material and construction project.
1.1 Material management in construction projects
The main reason for construction material to be so influential in a construction project is because the cost for material handling may range from 30 – 80 % of total construction cost (Proverb, et al., 1999).Therefore ineffective material management can cause inevitable loss for a construction project.
Material management can be considered as a prime uncertainty in a construction project. Bell and Stukhart (1986) defined materials management functions which include planning and material take off, vendor evaluation and selection, purchasing, expenditure, shipping, material receiving, warehousing and inventory and material distribution. As material management is interrelated to other processes and stages of the construction project and is dependent over various other factors it has high uncertainty. Especially the nature of construction project being fragment basis with unstructured communication and no clear responsibility between the parties, increase the challenge of implementing effective material management.
Although material management problems highly impact the construction professionals all over the world, they are more critical for Maldivian construction professionals.