Future drivers and trends influencing the outbound logistics development: A cross-sectional study focusing on the industrial aftermarket


The main purpose of this thesis has been to explore and evaluate future drivers and trends within outbound logistics. In addition to this it was said that Syncron International AB, which assigned the study, should be able to use the findings to develop their products and services in a way that would satisfy future customer demand.

The thesis was mainly carried out in three steps. Firstly, an extensive theoretical framework was constructed which formed the base for the continuing study. The theoretical framework contributed to both opinions in the studied areas, which were further processed later on in the study, as well as it formed the interview material. Secondly, interviews were held with a selection of Syncron’s customers which had experience from the studied areas. The results from the empirical study were then evaluated and summarized. Thirdly, the empirical and the theoretical results were analyzed and compared to form conclusions regarding the future of outbound logistics. These conclusions included recommendations for how Syncron and similar companies should adjust and prepare for this development.

The future of outbound logistics will be more complex in many aspects due to various reasons. The customers are expected to demand more customized product and service offerings as well as they will demand suppliers to take over responsibility for service and maintenance. Distribution strategies like direct deliveries, cross-docking and transport consolidation are expected to be used to a greater extent in the future, as one method to deal with challenging future demands.

The above mentioned issues, in combination with increased environmental pressures, will demand more from planning and management activities. This will in turn require further developed tools for planning and management, which are expected to be one of the main enablers for the future logistical development. These tools should also be able to increase the visibility throughout the entire supply chain, which is considered to become a crucial prerequisite in planning and forecasting processes in the future. It is important that companies like Syncron are aware of the expected enablers of the future logistical development, since it is within this area their customers will need assistance.

Author/s: Jacob Karlsson & Peter Reumark

Language: English

University: Linköping Universitet, Sweden

Year: 2007

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