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Process mapping and improvement in a prototype build organization

Berg, Marcus LU and Nilsson, Caroline LU (2012) MTT820 20121
Engineering Logistics
Abstract
Product development in the automotive industry is characterized by a high demand on short lead times and efficient use of resources. This is no different for Volvo Bus Corporation, the second largest manufacturer of buses and bus chassis in the world, whose global product development organization is under pressure to find new ways to meet an increased amount of projects along with requirements on shorter lead times. For the Prototype Build and Test department, one actor in the product development process, this means that gains in process efficiency and effectiveness is needed to meet future demands.

The purpose of this thesis is to map and analyze Volvo Buses’ Prototype Build and Test process, with a specific focus on the material... (More)
Product development in the automotive industry is characterized by a high demand on short lead times and efficient use of resources. This is no different for Volvo Bus Corporation, the second largest manufacturer of buses and bus chassis in the world, whose global product development organization is under pressure to find new ways to meet an increased amount of projects along with requirements on shorter lead times. For the Prototype Build and Test department, one actor in the product development process, this means that gains in process efficiency and effectiveness is needed to meet future demands.

The purpose of this thesis is to map and analyze Volvo Buses’ Prototype Build and Test process, with a specific focus on the material supply process within the Prototype Build and Test department, in order to identify areas of potential improvement and suggest appropriate actions. Suggestion of a number of key performance indicators to measure the improvement of the process is also a goal for the study.

The study uses a systems approach to provide a holistic view of the studied organization and to properly capture the complex interrelations within the system. The study is conducted through a case study where the bulk of the data is gathered using qualitative data collection methods, consisting of semi-structured interviews with representatives from all parts of the studied process. The data is analyzed through a theoretical frame of reference, developed by means of a literature study, based on the areas of process understanding, process mapping, process analysis, process improvement, process measurement and organizational structure.

The analysis results in a set of process maps describing the core processes of Prototype Build and Test as well as its relation and connections to the rest of the product development process. The analysis identifies a number of issues; Insufficient process orientation, poor communication, lacking control over the material flow, unrealistic time and resource planning and unclear definitions of roles and responsibilities, all of which limits the process’ efficiency. The authors suggest a set of recommendation for how Prototype Build and Test, and the product development organization as a whole, should act to address these issues and increase the efficiency of the process. The recommendation to Prototype Build and Test are:

- To start actively working with process orientation efforts
- To regain control of the material flow by implementing improved delivery control, goods receiving and warehousing routines
- To create clearly defined descriptions of roles and responsibilities
- To initiate an evaluation of the time and resource planning routines
- To start implementing a continuous improvement program
To measure improvements in the material supply process KPI’s measuring delivery performance, goods reception and standstills in the prototype builds are suggested. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Berg, Marcus LU and Nilsson, Caroline LU
supervisor
organization
course
MTT820 20121
year
type
M1 - University Diploma
subject
keywords
Process mapping, process management, process improvement, process- based organizational structure
report number
5732
other publication id
ISRN LUTMDN/TMTP--5732--SE
language
English
id
3048484
date added to LUP
2012-09-21 11:51:40
date last changed
2013-02-12 11:28:19
@misc{3048484,
  abstract     = {Product development in the automotive industry is characterized by a high demand on short lead times and efficient use of resources. This is no different for Volvo Bus Corporation, the second largest manufacturer of buses and bus chassis in the world, whose global product development organization is under pressure to find new ways to meet an increased amount of projects along with requirements on shorter lead times. For the Prototype Build and Test department, one actor in the product development process, this means that gains in process efficiency and effectiveness is needed to meet future demands.

The purpose of this thesis is to map and analyze Volvo Buses’ Prototype Build and Test process, with a specific focus on the material supply process within the Prototype Build and Test department, in order to identify areas of potential improvement and suggest appropriate actions. Suggestion of a number of key performance indicators to measure the improvement of the process is also a goal for the study.

The study uses a systems approach to provide a holistic view of the studied organization and to properly capture the complex interrelations within the system. The study is conducted through a case study where the bulk of the data is gathered using qualitative data collection methods, consisting of semi-structured interviews with representatives from all parts of the studied process. The data is analyzed through a theoretical frame of reference, developed by means of a literature study, based on the areas of process understanding, process mapping, process analysis, process improvement, process measurement and organizational structure.

The analysis results in a set of process maps describing the core processes of Prototype Build and Test as well as its relation and connections to the rest of the product development process. The analysis identifies a number of issues; Insufficient process orientation, poor communication, lacking control over the material flow, unrealistic time and resource planning and unclear definitions of roles and responsibilities, all of which limits the process’ efficiency. The authors suggest a set of recommendation for how Prototype Build and Test, and the product development organization as a whole, should act to address these issues and increase the efficiency of the process. The recommendation to Prototype Build and Test are:
 
- To start actively working with process orientation efforts
- To regain control of the material flow by implementing improved delivery control, goods receiving and warehousing routines
- To create clearly defined descriptions of roles and responsibilities
- To initiate an evaluation of the time and resource planning routines
- To start implementing a continuous improvement program
To measure improvements in the material supply process KPI’s measuring delivery performance, goods reception and standstills in the prototype builds are suggested.},
  author       = {Berg, Marcus and Nilsson, Caroline},
  keyword      = {Process mapping,process management,process improvement,process- based organizational structure},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Process mapping and improvement in a prototype build organization},
  year         = {2012},
}