Inventory Management from an aftermarket perspective

Author/s: Carolina Cardona; Lovisa Karlsson
University: Mälardalen University Sweden
Language: English
Year: 2013

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Abstract

This master thesis has been written on behalf of ABB Operation Center SE in Västerås. It is the last step of the master program in engineering – Innovation, Production and Logistics, at Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna.

ABB is an industrial company and a global leader in power and automation technologies and the role of ABB Operation Center is to provide aftermarket products and services all over the world. They offer spare parts, reparations, upgrades and exchange units for a large part of the products that ABB have.

With an overall knowledge and experience they provide solutions with availability and speed as their catchwords. Together with other ABB units and customers they develop the future aftermarket concept for industries all over the world. This is not an easy task since they handle articles that have a large range and the demand for service is high but the volumes are small and uncertain.

The purpose of this thesis is to find a strategy, or several strategies, in order to improve an inventory management that handles aftermarket articles. These strategies are built on four research questions.

In this thesis the authors, that are master students at Mälardalen University, have come up with suggestions for inventory management through four steps; planning, theoretical framework, benchmarking and analysis.

The research questions, structured in the planning step, are followed up in each chapter of the report. The data was collected and analyzed and the most useful information is presented in the theory, which is the base of this thesis, with focus on inventory management and aftermarket.

A benchmarking has also been done at four other companies that handle aftermarket. Here questions concerning the areas where ABB has issues were asked and answered. The information from the benchmarking together with the theoretical framework has formed to a suggestion of how ABB Operation Center SE should structure their work in order to manage their inventory in better way.