Improving an after-market service by implementing strategic guidelines and process improvements

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Management and economics of innovation (MPMEI), MSc
Ekelund, Anna
Standar, Eric
After-market departments are business departments that manage services such as maintenance, spare parts and repair units. After-sale services are additional high-marginal sources of revenue that can increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Hence, functioning after-sale services are important in order to increase a company’s competitiveness and retain future sales. In this research, a case study has been performed where an after-market department has been studied. The after-market department has undergone several organizational changes within recent years where processes and strategic objectives have become absent. Thus, a reenactment of the after-market department and establishing of processes has been incented. The research covers to identify the strategic approach of an after-market department, the current repair process and improvement suggestions within strategy and the repair process. Throughout interviews, observations, study visits and workshops, several business departments and process participants have been identified to be involved in the repair process every day. To clearly map out the company’s current repair process, a cross-functional process map were established and outlined. The repair process has been identified to consist of high variety, persistent repair units where technological and functional errors varies. Hence, efforts are required in order to manage such a wide and complex process. By verifying and analyzing findings, measurable objectives, responsibilities and lack of process ownership have been discovered as factors that deteriorates the company’s repair process. Hence, improvements within these fields has been suggested. The improvements includes to start using measurable metrics related to repairs and the repair process. Suggestion to appoint an operative process owner to maintain the repair process and to establish clear work instructions within the repair process to reduce responsibility uncertainties. The suggestions also included improvement of the repair transportation. The company’s endeavor to reenact a pure after-market business department forces to set and communicate strategic goals within the organization and the department. Clear strategic goals has been found non-existing at the after-market department. Hence, performance objectives and vision are suggested to be established in order to align the employees to strive towards the same goals. Further areas of research have also been discussed with the case company. These areas includes processes and IT-management related to the repair process and the after-market department. The authors suggests that the offering process, merge of IT-systems and the customer demand should be further investigated as these areas were found to be deficient.
Annan teknik , Other Engineering and Technologies
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