Navigating through the Purchasing Department’s Role in Technological Uncertainty: An Investigation into Supply Chain Resilience in New Product Development A case study at a leading OEM in the automotive industry

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Supply chain management (MPSCM), MSc
Kasselia, Ninva
Somi, Sebastian
Numerous automotive companies have begun to offer electric vehicles in their model range which currently is undergoing rapid development. This places pressure on how the purchasing department interacts with stakeholders where the traditional ways of working quickly become less effective in the technologically uncertain environment of new product development projects. The rapid development in the technologically uncertain environment also stresses the importance of applying supply chain resilience in organizations to build a system that can experience disturbance and maintain function and control in this rapidly evolving market. Therefore, this thesis has examined how the relationship between the purchasing department and new product development projects can achieve a resilient supply chain in a technologically uncertain environment. Through a single case analysis examining OEM X where the main practices in the upstream supply chain have been in focus, challenges in the new environment have been identified and addressed. The case company and its processes have been investigated through interviews, internal data, and observations that have contributed to findings that have then been analyzed in relation to literature and research done in the field. It was observed that the purchasing department and its relationship with new product development projects bring many challenges to both the department itself and other departments working on the same project. This was due to the late involvement of the purchasing department in the projects, challenges arising in technologically uncertain environments, resource constraints, and risk management in the supply chain. In conclusion, the thesis provides various suggestions for how OEMs operating in the same environment can ensure that the purchasing departments' operations promote upstream supply chain resilience. This is done by examining when the purchasing department should be involved in new product development projects and the challenges that may occur with an early involvement, but also how the relationship with potential suppliers should look like. However, the discussed improvements come with implications that should be considered by OEMs planning to implement these measures. The thesis also gives rise to further research that can be conducted to further strengthen the relationship between the purchasing department and new product development, operating in a technological uncertain environment.
Purchasing , New Product Development , Supply Chain Resilience , Technologically Uncertain Environment
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