Returlådan som försvann : En studie med syfte att minska saldoavvikelser av returlådor mellan ICAs centrallager och butiker
Sammanfattning: Title: The disappearing crate Context: Return logistics is an often forgotten but essential part of a company’s supply chain. As growing supply chains become increasingly complex, increased demands are placed on efficient logistics to create a competitive advantage over other parties on the market. ICA Sweden is currently using returnable packaging containers (RPCs) from Svenska Retursystem for transporting goods to their stores. The goods are sent via pallets and returnable packaging containers from a central warehouse or an external supplier. Empty packaging are then sent back to Svenska Retursystem. Each time a RPC changes hands, a debit fee is charged. When the RPC changes process owners, they transfer the debit fee to the next operator in the flow. If there is a loss of returnable packaging containers between two operators, a cost is incurred on this operator. The stores are charged through a so-called logistics cost, which can amount to about 0.7-0.9% of the stores' annual turnover. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to map the logistics process between the central warehouse and the stores and identify deficiencies in the process. Furthermore, the purpose of the study is to develop improvement proposals to reduce the negative balance of returnable packaging containers and reduce logistics costs for the stores. Method: The study has a comparative design of qualitative nature that adopts a critical realism approach. The research approach is deductive with a theoretical frame of reference as a starting point for the empirical material. Furthermore, the empirical material has been analyzed using pattern comparison. Results: The study has identified a number of different reasons why there may be a negative balance of returnable packaging containers at many ICA stores. Broadly speaking, we concluded that the problem stems from returnable packaging containers not being traceable. Human error throughout the process can also cause a mismatch of the administrative and physical flows. Improvement measures such as working with Lean, 5S, introducing RFID technology and investing in own trucks are discussed.
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