A Mixed-Methods Explanatory Analysis Embracing Modularisation, Lean, Organisational Collaboration and Communications for Lead Time Reduction
Sammanfattning: Customers' demand and more customisable products create challenges for companies that need a higher degree of flexibility in their processes to handle the variation. A modular product architecture helps companies customise their product by swapping and sharing components, simultaneously adapting mass production strategies to reduce cost and production time. This thesis aims to analyse how low volume production with high customer customisation organisation gets affected by its complex product and what aspect can reduce complexity and shorten lead time. The purpose is to identify aspects which can reduce complexity in product configurations and processes and aspects which can shorten the lead time in a configuration to the assembly process. A literature review embracing modularisation, Lean, organisation configuration, design for assembly, innovation, and value stream mapping was constructed to help explain the situation in a case organisation. An abductive approach with a mixed-method explanatory approach was performed with a value stream map, a self-completing questionnaire, and semi-structured interviews to understand the current situation. The value stream map visualised the process and explained the performance of the organisation's Machine Order to Ex-Work process, the questionnaire explained the general department’s perception of the process, and finally, the interview contextualised the perceptions. The finding was that the customer order decoupling point is positioned at the assembly's first operation and indicates that the process is order-driven. Additionally, the questionnaire and interview findings explained that different perceptions in the organisation are palpable and that thirteen themes were identified as areas of creating complexity. The work concludes to improve lead time for low volume and high customisation organisations a radical change in strategy is necessary to achieve more efficiency.
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