Semi-Structured Interview of Industry 4.0 for SMEs in the Malaysian Construction Industry
Keywords:construction industry, construction SMEs, Industry 4.0, IR 4.0
Industry 4.0 (IR 4.0) is becoming a trend in various sectors despite being originated from the manufacturing industry. This concept has even grasped the attention of the construction sector due to its various benefits such as increased in product quality, productivity, and cost savings. In order to adopt this concept for the construction industry, focuses should be placed upon the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) since they play a major part in influencing the economy. This paper aims to examine the challenges, enablers of IR 4.0, investigate the readiness and identify the ways to improve the implementation of IR 4.0 for the SMEs in the Malaysian construction industry. This study employed a semi-structured interview amongst twenty (20) industrial construction players around the Klang Valley. The collected data was then analysed and the results showed that they agreed that the main challenges in adopting IR 4.0 concept for the construction SMEs were lack of financial resources, ineffective process change strategy and low experiences in utilizing skilled applications and technologies. The interviewees believed that the important enablers for IR 4.0 in the construction industry were Building Information Modelling (BIM), cloud technology, and Industrialised Building System (IBS). BIM is also becoming a growing trend in the construction industry. The interviewees mentioned that the current readiness of the IR 4.0 concept for the construction SMEs is still below par yet there is still potential to be improved especially in terms of the organisations management, awareness, and implementation level. Government and its agencies need to play the biggest roles as the driving force in ensuring advanced technologies are successfully implemented in the construction industry. The results from this research will be used to produce a robust framework to hasten the adoption of IR 4.0 for the construction industry SMEs.
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