Document Detail

Title: SD-33 - Bar Code Applications in Construction
Publication Date: 2/1/1988
Product Type: Source Document
Status: Archived Reference
Pages: 73
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Bell, McCullouch, Auburn Univ.
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The construction industry lags behind the automotive, defense, health care, grocery, retail sales, and other industries in the widespread utilization of bar code technology. Essentially all vendors supplying materials for automotive assembly utilize bar codes in compliance with industry-wide standards. Similarly, the Department of Defense has developed cost-effective bar code procedures for a wide range of material inventory, receiving, issue, and audit applications. Bar coding has produced substantial cost savings in other industries, primarily as a result of reduced time for computer data entry, and improved data accuracy.

Bar code applications are, however, currently being developed by both owners and engineering contractors for applications relating to quantity takeoff, field material control, warehouse inventory and maintenance, tool and consumable material issue, timekeeping and cost engineering, purchasing and accounting, scheduling, document control, and office operations. Specific applications in these areas are discussed in this report.

Bar code hardware is relatively inexpensive, and applications are easily integrated into existing accounting and project control computer systems. Despite limited experience with bar code applications, CII owners and engineering contractors are projecting cost saving benefits similar to those documented in other industries. In general, the costs associated with bar code implementation can be recovered within a six month period of time.

To fully realize the cost saving potential of bar code applications, the construction industry needs to develop a broad base of experience with bar code technology, and then, establish uniform standards similar to those currently in force in other industries. During the coming year, Auburn and Texas A&M universities are continuing research in the areas of implementation guidelines and standards development.