"If it moves, salute it. If it doesn't move, pick it up. If you can't pick it up, paint it" - U.S. military slogan
The purpose of this chapter is to serve as a guideline for the rest of the document, showing the direction the research has taken.
This chapter starts of with showing possible improvements, followed by two examples. It ends with a formal goal description for this research project.
In the previous chapter, it has been shown that the building and construction industry lags behind when compared with many other industries regarding electronic communication. This can and must be remedied, as it is a known fact in this industry that the lack of good communication is estimated to raise the costs of building up to 100% when compared to an ideal case.
A second field in which improvement has to be made is internationalisation. Especially in Europe, the industry is becoming more and more internationally oriented. Major projects have to be offered by tendering to all interested parties in Europe. Suppliers are increasingly starting to operate internationally. At the same time, national languages, classifications and different legislations still hamper this trend.
The cost of connectivity has decreased the last few years through the rapid growth of the Internet and intranets. This opens up opportunities for an increase in both the quantity and the quality of communication, but the uptake till now has been somewhat disappointing. As an illustration, in the Netherlands, STABU (a Dutch organisation which builds an information system covering the entire building process) is trying hard to get all the building companies connected to the Internet before the end of the year 2000, as half of the companies doesn't yet have Internet access.
Tendering means to submit a project proposal to a number of contractors. All major construction works have to be "tendered" Europe-wide to all interested constructors. They then are allowed to accept the tender and to present their bid (the amount of money) for which they are prepared to take on the project.