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    Managing Demand Fluctuations: Distribution Strategies as Risk Mitigation Tools An analysis of a case company’s current risk mitigation strategies and two logistics postponement strategies
    (2023) Byberg, Cecilia; Nylander, Maximilian; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics; Jonsson, Patrik; Jonsson, Patrik
    Currently, the retail sector is experiencing fluctuating markets with high demand volatility and demand uncertainty. Therefore, companies within this sector need to implement distribution strategies which are tailored to dealing with mitigating the risks of demand volatility and uncertainty without incurring too much costs, which may negatively affect operations or compromise customer service levels. In order to conduct this thesis and answer our research questions, we utilized a qualitative research method which included interviews and a literature review. The thesis entails an analysis of a case company’s current risk mitigation strategies and two logistics postponement strategies tailored to the case company. Their current risk mitigation strategies include an omni channel and balancing inventory through lateral shipments. The analysis was based on benefits and limitations related to dealing with demand volatility and uncertainty. Furthermore, complementary operational, based on a scenario planning analysis, and strategic considerations of the two logistics postponement strategies are discussed. In conclusion, the masterhouse strategy shows great robustness in dealing with demand volatility and uncertainty with centralizing safety stock closely lagging behind. However, further investigation of the centralizing safety stock strategy is recommended due to the associated lower implementation costs and scale. Additionally, expanding omni channel integration in conjunction with the centralizing safety stock will allow for enhanced operational efficiency and increased customer service. However, if the case company decides to remain their decentralized set up, further integration and optimization of the omni channel and balancing inventories need to take place. Both their current strategies respectively deal with demand uncertainty and volatility in various ways, however, there are relevant limitations such as navigating compliances and regulations and lacking technical capabilities.
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    Reducing planned production downtimes by efficient setup planning A case study based on a production line at the food production company Paulig in Gothenburg
    (2023) Svensson, Leonique; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics; Kans, Mirka; Kans, Mirka
    This thesis presents a case study conducted at Paulig, a food production company in Gothenburg, Sweden, with the purpose of examining how productivity and the availability factor in the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metrics can be increased when focusing on setup times. The examined research questions are “How can the availability factor in OEE measurements be increased when focusing on downtimes?”, “How can setup times be reduced?”, and “How can standardized setup processes be attained?” Six setup cases were identified and extensively analyzed, improved, and standardized using spaghetti diagrams, work classification, Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), and work instructions. Collaboration with operators and informal interviews with both operators and the management team played a crucial role in the improvement process. The first research question aimed to determine how the availability factor could be increased by focusing on downtimes. The answer revealed that reducing setup time could effectively minimize planned production downtimes. The answer to the second research question is that Spaghetti diagrams, work classification, and SMED analyses can together be used to reduce setup times. The third research question focused on how standardized setup processes can be attained. The result showed that providing clear instructions to operators can contribute to the standardization of setup processes. In conclusion, this thesis highlights that spaghetti diagrams, work classification, SMED analyses, and work instructions can be combined to increase productivity and the availability factor at a production line.
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    Innovative Demand Side Management Solutions Exploring Incentives and Barriers for Demand Side Management Solutions at Shared Charging Infrastructure Sites for Heavyweight Vehicles
    (2023) Styff, Amanda; Thorell, Sara; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics; Govik, Lisa; Govik, Lisa
    A major part of the decarbonization efforts of society is related to the energy and transport sectors. The energy sector is undergoing a transition to renewable sources and at the same time Swedish electricity consumption is expected to double by 2045, resulting in two challenges. First, there is a problematic, daily and seasonal, mismatch between supply and demand due to intermittent renewable energy sources and fluctuating demand. Second, the required expansion and reinforcement of the grid is costly and may not be completed in time. When electrifying public transport, involved actors need to adopt new ways of working to address these future challenges in the energy system. Extending from the DREEMER-project, which includes stakeholders in public transportation and shared charging infrastructure, the thesis investigates the necessary incentives and potential barriers for actors to take a more active role in supporting the local electricity grid at bus charging sites. Furthermore, the thesis explores potential demand side management solutions and what measures actors could take to increase participation in the local energy system. The study began with a pre-study, followed by interviews with DREEMER-actors who recommended additional respondents. This led to another round of interviews with a technical focus. Simultaneously, a literature review on sharing economy concepts and technical solutions was conducted. Financial returns are identified as a necessary incentive, while environmental and social incentives are also recognized as important. The results highlight four main barriers that need to be overcome: lack of existing business models, regulatory barriers, uncertainty, and lack of knowledge. The potential of demand side management solutions is discussed in relation to the identified incentives and barriers.
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    Shifting Focus
    (2023) Galligani Vardheim, Sara; Grönlund, Tilda; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics; de Fine Licht, Karl; Surber, Nicholas
    Today more than ever, organizations are subject to continuously changing operating contexts and requirements, and thus rely largely on their ability to change to survive. There is also a trend in the current business environment of an increasing focus on employee well-being, which is of even higher importance in a time of change. Employee well-being has been subject to a vast amount of business research, but in practice it is rarely the main focus of companies’ operations. Large manufacturing companies are employee intensive and the trend of employee well-being is therefore highly relevant in the sector. For this reason, this study investigates a company in the ceramic sanitary ware (CSW) industry, and its proposed restructuring project. The empirical data was collected through interviews with case company employees and a survey of factory workers. Through applying existing theory on change- and knowledge management on these results, the study identifies reasons for, and barriers to, implementing the case company’s restructuring project. Using Porter’s Five Forces, the findings were generalized over the CSW industry. Furthermore, the study combines takeaways from change- and knowledge management to improve implementation of large change initiatives. Finally, two recommendations are given for how to increase focus on employee well-being. First, the company should integrate knowledge management practices into the organization’s strategy. Second, they should use the explicit knowledge to formulate a change strategy with clear objectives and actions, which clearly aligns with the overall operations strategy and considers employee well-being. Ultimately, this study highlights that while having received much attention in theory, employee well-being still requires more targeted attention within manufacturing companies. Therefore, the provided recommendations may act as a starting point for shifting their focus.
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    An exploration of the economic impact and project process influence of BREEAM certification on commercial properties
    (2023) Andersson, Daniel; Sterner, Erik; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics; Bosch-Sijtsema, Petra; Bosch-Sijtsema, Petra
    The growing emphasis on environmental responsibility has prompted industries, including commercial real estate, to reassess their standards and practices. This transformation has led to sustainable properties gaining prominence in this evolving landscape, particularly in Sweden, where certifications have become an industry norm and integral to construction projects. However, these implementations of environmental certificates such as the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), have led to various challenges for the project leaders in the construction process, impacting both finances and processes. Acknowledging this shift, this study therefore delves into the economic impact of BREEAM certification on commercial properties, including investigating the economic value of commercial properties, as well as exploring the potential increase in economic value from BREEAM. Moreover, the report also discusses the challenges associated with the certification process, including increased complexity and additional work, but also management strategies to manage the implementation. This was enabled through an inductive approach and a qualitative research strategy, including semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders on a large construction company which delves deeper into one of their projects. This study in the Swedish context implied that contrary to previous literature, BREEAM certification's economic benefits, such as price and rental premiums are minimal, emphasizing the predominant influence of external drivers and highlighting administrative and hidden costs as primary contributors to the overall cost of BREEAM certification on commercial properties. It was further identified that the implementation of BREEAM certification in commercial office building construction significantly increases workload and complexity, demanding early planning, effective management strategies, and leveraging the experience of project stakeholders, underscoring the importance of addressing the complexity for successful project performance