Packaging in Outbound Spare Part Distribution. A Study at Volvo Group
Examensarbete för masterexamen
In an increasingly competitive market, companies have realized the importance of their logistics activities being effective and efficient. An area highly impacting the performance of a supply chain is the packaging. At Volvo Group, the transport packaging used consists of returnable packaging called V-EMB, however, there are cases when V-EMB cannot be used. This master’s thesis aims to study the outbound transport packaging processes within Volvo Group’s Service Market Logistics organization when sending non-V-EMB packaging from central and regional distribution centers to dealers. The purpose is to, by studying the current outbound transport packaging processes, assist Volvo Group in ensuring that their processes are favorable with regard to quality, cost, and sustainability. To fulfill this aim, a qualitative study has been conducted. First, a theoretical framework has been created from existing literature on the area. Further, a survey has been sent out to 14 distribution centers, followed by interviews with seven of them. In addition to this, benchmarking with an external company has been conducted. All empirical findings have thereafter been analyzed with the use of the theoretical framework. The result of the research indicates that all of the studied distribution centers work similarly, however, there are two main differences identified. The first one regards the supply process, as some distribution centers keep their packaging stocks in-house while others outsource them to a supplier. The second difference regards the branding of the packaging, with some distribution centers branding their transport packaging and others using brand-neutral packaging. Regarding quality, cost, and sustainability requirements, all outbound transport packaging processes identified affect the requirements set by Volvo Group positively. However, areas of improvement are possible to identify within the outbound packaging processes, such as increased communication and collaboration between the DCs and standardization of processes.
Packaging, Outbound Logistics, Aftermarket Services, Spare Parts, Packaging Waste, Packaging Performance.