buildings
Article
Major Factors Causing Delay in the Delivery of
Manufacturing and Building Projects in Saudi Arabia
Hussein Abdellatif 1,* and Adel Alshibani 2
1 Electrical Engineering Department, KFUPM, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
2 Construction Engineering and Management, KFUPM, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia;
alshibani@kfupm.edu.sa
* Correspondence: g200832600@kfupm.edu.sa; Tel.: +966-55-970-6066
Received: 1 March 2019; Accepted: 8 April 2019; Published: 20 April 2019


Abstract: There have been many studies done on the causes of delay on construction projects and
building projects all around the world. They use di erent methods, on di erent geographical areas,
and they come up with di erent results. There are, however, few studies on industrial and building
projects. This paper focuses on industrial/manufacturing projects in Saudi Arabia. The aim of this
paper is to identify the major causes of delay in the manufacturing projects in Saudi Arabia. The top
causes of delay have been identified through a literature survey and interviews with experts from the
industrial field in Saudi Arabia. Twenty-two factors have been identified and listed in a survey that
was distributed to professionals in the same field. Two categorizations were made: the first is based
on the impact of the cause, and the second is based on the frequency of occurrence of the identified
cause. It has been found that the top five impacted causes of delay in the delivery of industrial projects
in Saudi Arabia are: diculties in financing project by contractor/manufacturer, late procurement
of materials, late delivery of materials, delay in progress payments, and delay in approving design
documents, respectively. In terms of frequency, the top five identified causes are: delay in progress
payments, diculties in financing project by contractor/manufacturer, slowness in decision making,
late procurement of materials, and delay in approving design documents, respectively. The diversity
of the participants is an important point; therefore, the respondents were from di erent job positions
(management, engineering, etc.), and di erent categories (contractor, owner, manufacturer, consultant,
etc.). It is worth noting that this paper serves not only as an authentic study of the causes of delay in
the delivery of industrial projects in Saudi Arabia which is a field that is not widely covered, but also
as a fresh paper that gives an indication of the changes that happen to the business over time as
compared to previous work.
Keywords: industrial projects; delay factors; scheduling; RII; building projects
1. Introduction
The main objective of the project management team is to complete the project on time, within
its budget, and according to the required quality/specifications. The literature review indicates that
many factors can influence the project objectives. Those factors may vary in importance based on the
perspective of the owner, contractor, sub-contractor, and consultants. The project also needs to be
completed under a safe environment, without any litigation, and as per the authorities’ regulations.
Construction projects are often the focal point when project planning, scheduling and management is
considered. Nevertheless, it must be noted that every construction project requires materials/products,
and these materials/products go through a manufacturing process. A delay in the delivery of some
materials/products, may cause an overall delay in the project. For instance, if an electrical substation is
to be constructed, equipped, and commissioned as a lump-sum/turnkey project, an essential part of the
Buildings 2019, 9, 93; doi:10.3390/buildings9040093 www.mdpi.com/journal/buildings
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 2 of 15
project completion and delivery would be the manufacturing of the electrical products that are to be
installed in the substation. This example, in fact, is the main point of this research paper.
From the perspective of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and in addition to the project
main objectives, the profit must be maximized which adds to the complexity of the project’s overall
delivery. For example, the bulk material manufacturing is going to a ect the price of the product and
thus the profit, an OEM would like to manufacture more units of the same type of multiple projects at
one time. This, however, is constrained with the project’s deadlines, sizes, etc.
This paper investigates assess, analyze, and evaluate the major causes of delay in the delivery of
industrial projects in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the paper covers a wide range of published papers that
discuss the causes of delay in projects. The literature survey lists the references in a chronological order.
2. Methodology
Causes of delay in construction projects is an important function that has got the attention of both
researchers and field experts. Therefore, it was important to identify those causes of delay in order to
avoid those causes, have a solution for them in case they happen, and eventually save time and money.
It is essential to tie the causes of delay with the geographical location as by experience, it is found that
di erent locations have di erent regulations, practice, authorities, etc. Additionally, the field of study
is also important as for example, most studies focus on the construction and building projects but less
focus on the industrial/manufacturing projects. As the field of work changes, di erent requirements,
regulations may well change, and a completely di erent behavior might be encountered. This paper
focuses on the industrial/manufacturing projects in Saudi Arabia. The paper focuses on the causes
of delay in such projects. The research methodology followed to achieve the above-stated objectives
involve a sequence of steps. It includes the following:
1. Conducting a comprehensive literature review to identify the factors that cause schedule delays
during the construction phase of industrial/manufacturing projects.
2. Determining unreported factors based on interviewing the local experts who are involved in the
construction of industrial/manufacturing projects in Saudi Arabia.
3. Combining the identified factors from the literature with that obtained from interviewing project
engineers/managers.
4. Designing and developing a questionnaire survey to be used for collecting feedback from experts
regarding the importance of the identified factors.
5. Conducting a pilot study with experts to assess the identified factors and to evaluate the developed
questionnaire survey before sending it to the targeted professionals.
6. Distributing the questionnaire survey to the population of 106 professionals working in this class
of projects in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
7. Analyzing the data received using the statistical analysis method to identify the level of importance
for the identified factors.
8. Obtaining the important index value and the rank of each factor.
9. Drawing conclusions and recommendations based on the obtained results.
3. Literature Review
The main goal of the project management team is to complete the project successfully. This includes
completing the project on time, within its budget, and according to the required quality/specifications.
Completing the project on time requires the identification of causes that may lead to delay during
construction phase. The literature reveals that many studies have been carried out to identify the
causes of the delay of construction projects in general. However, very limited research concerning
the construction delay of the delivery of industrial/manufacturing projects. Causes of delay and/or
cost overruns may vary based on the geographic location where the project is constructing. In Turkey,
for example, where the investment in construction adds up to 50% of the total investments, some
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 3 of 15
major causes of delay were identified to be a lack of cash flow, resources, design delay, and changes
in the order, which happen frequently [1]. Not only the causes of a delay are important, but so, too,
are the factors that suppress the delay. That is what was carried out in [2] in which the top factors for a
successful project completion were identified.
In Nigeria the main cause of project cost overruns was identified to be related to the shortage of
materials and the deficiency in the financing, and a recommendation to overcome that was to reduce
the mistake of handling human resources and materials [3]. Due to the lack of research in identifying
and evaluating the causes of delay and their e ects on industrial/manufacturing projects, the literature
shows that some researchers have used game theory and transaction cost economics to address this
issue [4,5]. A study in Nigeria [6] found that the main reasons for cost overrun in construction projects
are: fluctuations in costs of material, and manpower in addition to the delay of invoice payments. It is
revealed that to finish a project successfully, multiple factors and sub-factors need to be examined.
That can be done with the help of techniques such as the resource-based view (RBV). The advantages
of the resources based view (RBV) were presented in [7,8]. An important advantage of the RBV is that
it allows utilization of the right resources at the right place with the best use of capabilities [9,10]
In [11], multiple reasons for cost and time overrun is the lack of material and the deficiency in
payments. In the study, it was recommended that solution must be carried out on an organizational
level as well as a governmental and international level for developing. In [12,13]. Each factor that
contributes to the delay was given a numerical value through the relative importance index (RII).
Looking at the studies based on the geographical location, it is noticed that only a few studies examine
the causes of delay in Europe (e.g., [14–17]). The majority of studies into the causes and e ects of delay
in construction projects focus on identifying these causes and e ects, but they do not really dive into
the dependency between these factors [18–20].
The complexity of project of construction urge the need for developing an understanding of the
dependency between the di erent causes of delay. For example, study in Hong Kong identified 83
causes of delay in construction projects [21]. The change of order was the top cause of delay in a study
conducted in Taiwan which was based on the application of the RII [22]. Multiple studies have been
done on the Iranian region in terms of causes and delay [23–28]. Other similar studies were conducted in
Ghana [29,30], South Africa [31–33], Singapore [34,35] and Palestine [36,37], Libya [38], Nigeria [39–41],
India [42–44], Taiwan [45,46], UAE [47], Egypt [48–51], Oman [52], Pakistan [53–56], Malawi [57],
Zambia [58], Jordan [59], Malaysia [60–63], Turkey [64–66], Syria [67], Vietnam [68], Kenya [69], Iraq [70],
Qatar [71,72], Saudi Arabia [73,74], Cambodia [75,76], Ethiopia [77], Botswana [78], Burkina Faso [79],
Rwanda [80], USA [81], Zimbabwe [82], Benin [83], Afghanistan [84], Australia [85], Tanzania [86],
Uganda [87,88], and Canada [89]. Another technique called Structural Equation Modeling (SEM),
which is a statistical technique, has also been used in the literature [90–92]. It should be noted that
when there is a set of requirements, a good way is to use the resource-based view (RBV) [93].
4. Causes of Delay Identification
In this section, the identified causes of delay based on points 1–4 in the methodology have been
listed down in a tabulated form in Table 1 to be compact, and a brief about each point is provided. It is
worth noting that out of 29 causes, the experts have decided to eliminate seven and not to add any.
Therefore, 22 causes of delay have been identified. It is also to be noted that the factors are mentioned
in more than one reference and since more than 100 references are used, only one reference will be
mentioned for each factor.
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 4 of 15
Table 1. The identified causes of delay.
# Cause Category Brief Reference
1
Inadequate
contractor
experience
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related
The low level of contractor
experience can cause chaos as he
is the key connection between all
subcontractors and his poor
experience can collapse the whole
project
[66]
2
Ine ective project
planning and
scheduling
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related
Poor planning can cause schedule
delay, cost overrun, and low
quality output
[94]
3
Poor site
management and
supervision
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related
Poor site management would not
only cause project delay but it
could also lead to safety issues
and accidents
[24]
4 Unreliable
subcontractors
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related
Every subcontractor has a portion
of the project to deliver and any
delay from any subcontractor will
most probably delay the whole
project
[17]
5 Late procurement
of materials
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related
Especially in the manufacturing/
industrial projects, material
related points shall be of top
priority. Late procurement will
lead to late delivery and late
project submission
[81]
6
Diculties in
financing project by
contractor/manufacturer
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related
The lack of finance can lead to
many other causes of delay such
as the delay of procurement of
material
[95]
7 Late delivery of
materials Material Related
The material might be procured
on time but still delivered late and
that could be to many reasons
including the customs
[96]
8 Non-availability of
material Material Related
Sometimes if alternatives are not
acceptable by the owner, the
non-availability of material can
put the project on hold
[27]
9
Delay in
performing
inspection and
testing
Consultant/Contractor/
Manufacturer Related
In manufacturing, a product
cannot be delivered without
inspection and testing. A delay in
inspection surely delay the last
stages of the product delivery
[49]
10
Poor
communication
and coordination
with other parties
Consultant Related
Poor communication leads to
having some abandoned tasks
that no one works onto
[41]
11
Unqualified/
inexperienced
workers
Labor Related
Unqualified workers will surely
have a low production rate and
probably low quality output
[76]
12 Low productivity
of labor Labor Related
Low production rate means that
the employee will take more time
to finish a task that could be
finished in less time
[97]
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 5 of 15
Table 1. Cont.
# Cause Category Brief Reference
13
Design changes by
owner or agent
during
Execution/Change
Orders
Owner Related
Depending on the stage the
project is at, change order a ects
both the project duration and cost.
Sometimes it might not be even
feasible
[98]
14 Delay in approving
design documents Owner Related
The manufacturing process
cannot be started without having
the design approved. A delay in
design surely delays the project
[79]
15 Delay in progress
payments Owner Related
Delay in progress payments can
put the manufacturer in a position
of not being able to purchase the
rest of the materials on time
[33]
16 Slowness in
decision making Owner Related
If the owner does not make his
decision on time, the rest of the
chain has to stay on hold
[50]
17 Shortage of labors Owner Related Less labor in other words means
low or very low production rate [35]
18
Unexpected
conditions (bad
weather, etc.)
External related
In a typical construction project,
foggy, rainy, or windy weather
can stop the work completely
[51]
19
Mistakes and
deficiencies in
design documents
Scheduling Related/All
Parties
Mistakes in design documents
will lead to longer design
approval process and thus a direct
delay in the project duration
[99]
20
Insucient data
collection and
work preparation
Scheduling Related/All
Parties
The lack of information means the
inability to take the right decision
at the right time
[63]
21 Last minute tasks Scheduling Related/All
Parties
Last minute tasks cause pressure,
and sudden change to the project
schedule
[48]
22
Unclear demands
from project
manager
Scheduling Related/All
Parties
The vague demands from the
project manager can leave his
subordinates in a confusion that
delays the project
[46]
5. Survey Design and Statistics
The survey has been designed online and distributed among professionals in the field of focus of
the paper. It first collects general but important information about the respondents including their job
level, years of experience and the category of their organization. After that, the 22 points were listed,
and the respondent was asked to choose an impact level and a frequency level for each point. The
levels were (very low, low, moderate, high, and very high). The survey was intended to be as clear and
direct as possible to encourage the respondents to complete it. The impact level shows how badly this
factor a ects the project and the frequency level shows how often this factor is encountered. A sample
of the survey is attached into the appendix.
The three statistical models used to analyze the data are the relative importance index (RII),
and the frequency adjusted importance index (FAII).
The RII is an easy but e ective tool in analyzing the data. It can be understood by everyone and it
helps ranking the many factors listed in this paper. The RII equation is:
RII =
P
SR
WN
(1)
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 6 of 15
where:
– RII is the relative importance index used to rank the factors obtained based on importance. Its
value varies from 0–1. The higher the value is, the higher the rank/importance of the factor is.
– SR is the factor scale. The scale used here is 1–5 and, thus, SR is the scale inputted by the
respondent for the impact/importance.
– W is the maximum value of the scale which is 5 here since the scale is from 1– 5.
– N is the number of respondents to the survey.
Equation (1) considers the importance only but not the frequency. To consider the frequency,
the frequency index (FI) is used. It is calculated in a similar way to the RII as follows:
FI =
P
SF
WN
(2)
where:
– FI is the frequency index used to rank the factors obtained based on frequency. Its value varies
from 0 to 1. The higher the value is, the higher the rank/frequency of the factor is.
– SR is the factor scale. The scale used here is 1 to 5 and thus, SR is the scale inputted by the
respondent for the frequency.
– W is the maximum value of the scale which is 5 here since the scale is from 1–5.
– N is the number of respondents to the survey.
To combine the two indices in one, the RII and FI are combined into the FAII, which is a simple
multiplication combination of the aforementioned factors:
FAII = RII  FI  100 (3)
6. Results and Discussion
The survey respondents of this survey were chosen to be professional from the field of di erent
job levels, and di erent experience levels as well. All the respondents are university graduates. The
manufactures/contractors represent 80.0% of the respondents, the consultants are 16.7% and the owners
represent 3.3%. The Engineers sum up to 46.7% of the respondents while the managers represent 40%
and 13.3% lie in other categories. In terms of years of experience, 10% of the respondents had 1–5 years
of experience, 10% had 5–10 years of experience, 26.7% had 10–15 years of experience, and 53.3% had
more than 15 years of experience.
The result of the survey has been listed in Table 2 to be in a compact form. The table shows the
identified 22 factors, their average, standard deviation (SD), RII, and rank based on the RII. The average
and SD are based on the impact values.
Table 3 shows the 22 factors ranked based on FI and based on FAII. Additionally, the average and
SD are shown based on the frequency values.
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 7 of 15
Table 2. The identified causes of delay, their average, SD, and RII.
# Cause Category Average SD RII Rank
1 Inadequate contractor
experience
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.53 1.11 0.706 8
2
Ine ective project
planning and
scheduling
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.53 1.36 0.706 8
3 Poor site management
and supervision
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.2 1.24 0.64 17
4 Unreliable
subcontractors
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.5 1.33 0.7 11
5 Late procurement of
materials
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.83 1.37 0.766 2
6
Diculties in
financing project by
contractor/manufacturer
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.9 1.21 0.78 1
7 Late delivery of
materials Material Related 3.83 1.26 0.766 2
8 Non-availability of
material Material Related 3.53 1.22 0.706 8
9 Delay in performing
inspection and testing
Consultant/Contractor/
Manufacturer Related 3.17 1.02 0.634 18
10
Poor communication
and coordination with
other parties
Consultant Related 3.57 1.14 0.714 6
11 Unqualified/inexperienced
workers Labor Related 3.1 1.24 0.62 21
12 Low productivity of
labor Labor Related 3.13 1.11 0.626 19
13
Design changes by
owner or agent during
Execution/Change
Orders
Owner Related 3.3 1.12 0.66 12
14 Delay in approving
design documents Owner Related 3.6 1.07 0.72 5
15 Delay in progress
payments Owner Related 3.77 1.07 0.754 4
16 Slowness in decision
making Owner Related 3.57 1.17 0.714 6
17 Shortage of labors Owner Related 3.23 1.1 0.646 14
18
Unexpected
conditions (bad
weather, etc.)
External related 2.4 1 0.48 22
19
Mistakes and
deficiencies in design
documents
Scheduling Related 3.13 1.2 0.626 19
20
Insucient data
collection and work
preparation
Scheduling Related 3.23 1.19 0.646 14
21 Last minute tasks Scheduling Related 3.3 1.02 0.66 12
22 Unclear demands
from project manager Scheduling Related 3.23 1.28 0.646 14
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 8 of 15
Table 3. The identified causes of delay, their average, SD, and RII.
# Cause Category Average SD FI Rank FAII Rank
1 Inadequate contractor
experience
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 2.87 1.04 0.574 10 6.58952 10
2
Ine ective project
planning and
scheduling
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 2.93 1.05 0.586 8 6.86792 8
3 Poor site management
and supervision
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 2.7 0.95 0.54 16 5.832 16
4 Unreliable
subcontractors
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 2.67 1.12 0.534 17 5.70312 17
5 Late procurement of
materials
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.23 1.28 0.646 4 8.34632 4
6
Diculties in financing
project by
contractor/manufacturer
Contractor/Manufacturer
Related 3.47 1.22 0.694 2 9.63272 2
7 Late delivery of
materials Material Related 3.2 1.21 0.64 6 8.192 6
8 Non-availability of
material Material Related 2.83 1.15 0.566 14 6.40712 14
9 Delay in performing
inspection and testing
Consultant/Contractor/
Manufacturer Related 2.67 0.99 0.534 17 5.70312 17
10
Poor communication
and coordination with
other parties
Consultant Related 3 1.17 0.6 7 7.2 7
11 Unqualified/inexperienced
workers Labor Related 2.37 0.96 0.474 21 4.49352 21
12 Low productivity of
labor Labor Related 2.73 1.05 0.546 15 5.96232 15
13
Design changes by
owner or agent during
Execution/Change
Orders
Owner Related 2.87 1.17 0.574 10 6.58952 10
14 Delay in approving
design documents Owner Related 3.23 1.14 0.646 4 8.34632 4
15 Delay in progress
payments Owner Related 3.5 1.14 0.7 1 9.8 1
16 Slowness in decision
making Owner Related 3.27 1.31 0.654 3 8.55432 3
17 Shortage of labors Owner Related 2.57 1.01 0.514 19 5.28392 19
18 Unexpected conditions
(bad weather, etc.) External related 2 0.98 0.4 22 3.2 22
19
Mistakes and
deficiencies in design
documents
Scheduling Related 2.5 1.07 0.5 20 5 20
20
Insucient data
collection and work
preparation
Scheduling Related 2.87 1.14 0.574 10 6.58952 10
21 Last minute tasks Scheduling Related 2.9 1.16 0.58 9 6.728 9
22 Unclear demands from
project manager Scheduling Related 2.87 1.38 0.574 10 6.58952 10
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 9 of 15
It has been found that the top three causes of delay in the delivery of industrial projects in
Saudi Arabia in terms of impact are: diculties in financing project by contractor/manufacturer,
late procurement of materials, and late delivery of materials, respectively. In terms of frequency,
the top three causes have been identified to be: delay in progress payments, diculties in financing
project by contractor/manufacturer, and slowness in decision making, respectively. Using the FAII
helps combine both the frequency and importance in one rating and the result of the FAII ranking
is similar to the FI rating for the top three factors. It can be noticed that diculties in financing
project by contractor/manufacturer lies in both the highest impact and highest frequency categories.
For manufacturing processes, the availability of material is a key. Additionally, to have the material,
money must be available and any lack in finance from the owner side or the contractor side will surely
lead to delays in getting the material and, thus, delay in the delivery of the project. Therefore, it is
concluded that the results are related.
To overcome the issues related to the materials and their availability or purchase, supply chain
management techniques may be used. There are several techniques that could assist in solving this
issue such as just in time where the material is purchased and planned to arrive at the factory just at
the right time when it is supposed to be. That will help in both making sure that the material will
be available when needed and adjusting the cash flow to avoid having lack of money at some point
of the project which could delay the next batch of the material that are to be ordered. In addition,
the owner must consider his ability to finance the project as part of the scheduling of the project.
In other words, finance-based scheduling is to be applied involving both the contractor’s and owner’s
financial capability. Lastly, the slowness in decision making by the owner could be resolved by tracking
the actual cause of this delay. It is possible that this slowness is because of not using an automated
system that has built in reminder and notification function. It could also be due to an archaic system
approach which shall be revised.
In addition to the surveyed causes of delay, some of the professionals who submitted the survey
have added extra causes they believe are worth considering. This is because at the end of the survey,
there was an option for the respondents to add more causes if they feel they are worth considering too.
Those extra reasons have been summarized in Table 4.
Table 4. Extra Factors added through the survey.
Cause/Factor Impact Out of 5 * Frequency Out of 5 *
Port customs delay 4 4
Project specifications – –
Government restrictions – –
Shutdown request only limited to certain periods – –
Port customs’ clearance delay 3 2
Poor company organization 4 3
Multi-tasking of worker 4 4
Custom Clearance 4 3
Cash Flow problem 4 4
Port custom duties 5 4
Access to customs 4 4
Lab test and reports 5 3
* The scale is from 1–5 where 1 means very low, 2 low, 3 moderate, 4 high, and 5 very high.
It must be highlighted that the responses in Table 4 have been listed as given by the respondents
in the survey without any processing. The respondents might have stated extra causes of delay that
are similar to the ones in the survey. They also might have not stated the impact or frequency at some
points. However, a very noticeable result out of these inputs is that the majority of the respondents
who decided to add extra causes of delay agree on a new cause of delay. This cause of delay is the port
customs. Though only nine respondents have decided to add more factors to what was in the survey,
most of them agreed on the port customs clearance delay as an extra factor is worth paying attention
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 10 of 15
to. Probably, adding this cause to future surveys will reveal that it is one of the most important causes
of delay in terms of impact and frequency. It is a known fact that when a manufacturing process is
involved, material is required usually from both local and foreign suppliers. That is especially the case
when the manufacturing process is a part of a big project delivery which is the scope of this paper.
And if the port customs cause a delay, then, that surely will lead to a delay in the availability of the
material. Customs delay of the material could lead to the top causes of delay that have been identified
in this research which involve material related causes. This interrelation between the identified causes
is considered as one of the key findings of this research. That could help the project managers track
the chain of causes of delay and tackle the actual and most important cause of delay. Eventually, this
highlights the importance of the choice of this research for the industrial sector as a focused part of the
construction one. Many projects that involve construction and building require a part of manufacturing
and thus, it is important to add focus on the manufacturing/industrial projects as well.
Since most respondents are manufacturers, they might be biased towards selecting the causes
of delay that are not related to them. Thus, comparing the type of respondent with the category of
the top causes of delay might give better insights. Since most of the respondents are manufacturers,
they will be the only respondent type studied. By looking at the top five causes of delay in terms
of both frequency and impact, 4 of them are common. This results in a total of six factors that cause
delays in terms of both impact and frequency. The first cause is the diculties in financing project by
contractor/manufacturer. It should be noted that this cause can lie under the manufacturer category or
the contractor category. There is a high chance the manufacturers have selected it as a cause that lies
under the contractor category. The same analysis applies to the second factor which is late procurement
of materials. The third factor which is the late delivery of materials is a material related cause and,
thus, it is related to the supplier who supplies the customer, as well as the shipper and customs. The
last three factors considered are: delay in progress payments, delay in approving design documents,
and slowness in decision making. They are all owner-related factors.
7. Conclusions
In conclusion, a literature survey has been carried out to make an initial identification of the causes
of delay in projects in general. The papers reviewed cover a wide geographical area of study. After
that, the top causes of delay from the literature and from meetings held with experts were listed. These
factors have been put in a designed survey that was distributed to professionals and responses to collect
feedback. Di erent professionals from di erent positions and organizations were targeted to guarantee
the diversity of the responses which helps giving a general and better view of the data. The collected
responses were analyzed using the average, standard deviation, relative importance index, frequency
index, and the frequency adjusted importance index. The output of the mathematical analyses has
revealed that the top causes of delay in terms of frequency and importance are diculties in financing
project by contractor/manufacturer, late procurement of materials, late delivery of materials, delay in
progress payments, and slowness in decision-making. This paper has focused on industrial projects
where manufacturing process is involved and that is a point of research that is not heavily revealed
in the literature. Most studies focus on the causes of delay in the construction and building projects.
That is another key point that makes this research more valuable. The port customs can be assessed
in future work as an important cause of delay. For future work, the type of manufacturing process
that is tied with a construction process can be evaluated. Mechanical products manufacturers might
be di erent from electrical products manufacturers and they might be di erent from raw material
manufacturers. Lastly, the survey can try to reach a point at which the percentage of the respondents
of each category is equal.
Author Contributions: The authors H.A. and A.A. contributed to all parts of the research starting from analysis,
discussion and writing original draft reparation, writing, review, and editing.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Buildings 2019, 9, 93 11 of 15
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals for the
support and facilities provided to carry out this research.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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