Lean Capacity Planning - planning for maximising customer value

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Supply chain management (MPSCM), MSc
Ekhall, Carl-Johan
Anna, Linné
The importance of capacity planning has increased since many companies have reduced their inventories of finished goods to decrease unnecessary tied-up capital. At the same time, these companies want to have the possibility to respond to fluctuations in demand. The fluctuations that previously were absorbed by the inventories have now been transferred upstream to the production sites. As a result of this transfer, high performance of the capacity planning is essential and problems have to be mitigated. Many companies believe in lean as an approach to improve processes and thereby gain competitive advantage. However, it is unclear if lean can be an approach to mitigate problems in a capacity planning process. With this background, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate how companies can apply lean principles in their capacity planning process. This thesis was conducted as a case study at Nobel Biocare. Three research questions were formulated. The first question concerns the identifying of problems in the capacity planning process. In order to answer this question, 11 interviews were conducted at Nobel Biocare. Research question two investigates how lean principles can be used to mitigate the identified problems in the capacity planning process. Inspiration from three reference companies that have implemented lean principles in their capacity planning process were used as input to answer this question. The last research question was formulated to assess how the solutions could be applied into a model. A structure of the capacity planning process was used as a basis for categorising the solutions into three parts; preconditions for planning, planning hierarchy and planning cycle. The result of this thesis is that 17 problems were identified in Nobel Biocare’s capacity planning process. 13 out of these 17 problems could be mitigated with the use of lean principles. The conclusion is that companies will become more customer-focused by applying lean principles in their capacity planning processes. The findings of this analysis have been summarised in a model called the lean capacity planning process. Based on this model recommendations to Nobel Biocare have been given. The thesis’s contribution to theory is a starting point for closing the gap of how lean principles and capacity planning can be combined. By following the model, lean capacity planning process, companies can improve their capacity planning process and thereby increase competitiveness.
Produktion , Transport , Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi , Production , Transport , Other industrial engineering and economics
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