Why product traceability matters across the built environment supply chain

Why does product traceability matter? This is the question we set out to answer during our webinar with Barbour ABI on the issue of traceability in the supply chain. To help us unravel this question, we asked a brilliant panel of cross-sector experts to join us. Each of them representing different points of view in the construction supply chain.

Meet our panellists

  • For the manufacturer view: Adam Turk - Chief Executive, Siderise.
  • For the designer view: Carl Collins - Head of Digital Engineering at CIBSE.
  • For the builder view: Dagan Herculson - Head of Group Supply Chain Berkeley Group.
  • For the manager / maintainer view: Kath Fontana - Managing Director of Mitie Projects and Non-Exec Director of the UK BIM Alliance.

We asked them to share their perspectives on issues, challenges and solutions for traceability in the built environment and have identified three main challenges and drivers of change for the sector. Let’s take a look at what these are.

Industry collaboration and transparency

A common pain point for most of our panellists is transparency and accuracy of information across the supply chain. Visibility and control over product information is a massive issue for builders for example. Most of them subcontract the sourcing of materials and require robust product identification.

“We operate in a very complex and often fragmented supply chain”, says Dagan.

While the product information might be there it’s not always easily accessible. It might be nested inside PDFs, product guides etc. virtually gated and not openly accessible to supply chain operators. Carl explains from a designer standpoint how the information needs to not only be accessible, but also relevant - “We don’t need all the information, we just need the information relevant to our task. If we had the facility to exchange as much verified information as possible and filter it by task, then we are moving in a better direction.”

Data quality and validation

The management of data is also a common challenge across the built environment. The challenge lies mainly in two aspects. Firstly, the sheer volume of data to process and secondly in the inconsistent classification of data.

“Classification of data is really inconsistent” says Kath.

Kath continues, explaining how data is siloed across the supply chain - “ The impact and cost of this is not investing in data management. And that cost can be a financial cost, risk or reputational cost.”

The built environment is moving in the right direction with initiatives such as the CPA’s CCPI, which creates a code for the accuracy of product information. Giving manufacturers a blueprint on how to make sure their product information is accurate, transparent and universally understood.

Customer demand

More and more customers are asking about things such as sustainability and carbon impact. To be able to meet these demands, the built environment needs to have more easily available product information, with specific product information provided when needed to inform decisions.

To make that happen we need not only a single source of truth but also to start talking about data in the same way. That is why initiatives such as CCPI, Lexicon and BSI Identify are pivotal to this change.

“There are a lot of moving parts in our industry at the moment.” says Carl. “We talked about Identify, CCPI etc. And I think if you actually look at them holistically and see how that meshes together, that's actually an interesting story. For example we have Identify, this is how you find the information, we have Lexicon this is the format of the information, we have CCPI this how you can trust the information.”

During this webinar, several services where mentioned. Click on the following links to discover more:

Get the full insights by watching our webinar on demand here.

Stay informed