Visualizing potential for improvements in the information flow for road haulages : Exploratory case study on two Swedish road haulage firms

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för industriell ekonomi

Sammanfattning: Background: The understanding of the inefficiencies that the road haulages suffer from is more important than ever, specifically in today's society where the environmental problems and technological development are rapidly increasing. The perception of the inefficiencies could support road haulage firms to improve their operations. In addition, industry and commerce can develop new technology to decrease the inefficiency in the industry. This master thesis will contribute to more knowledge regarding the inefficiencies that road haulages suffer from to favour road haulage firms and the society’s economic development. Purpose: The purpose of the master thesis is, to identify and visualize the root causes in information flow that leads to inefficiencies. The impact the inefficiencies have on the physical flow, will also be investigated.Methods: The research strategy adopted to fulfil the purpose of the thesis consist of a detailed empirical case study at two road haulage firms. The data were collected through semi- and un- structured interviews. The data were analysed with the data reduction approach. Furthermore, numerous adopted frameworks 7-waste framework, RCA & Ishikawa matrix, and data flow diagram from previous studies were used to analyse the derived data from the interviews. Results: The results revealed that road haulages were operating in similar processes and the conveyed information during an operation was similar between the two case firms. Most of the root causes in the information flow occurred during upstream operations for both case firms, which affected the downstream operations. There were 4 different types of inefficiencies that were similar in both case firms. The manual handling of information, misunderstanding during operations, customer requirements, and incorrect runs. Conclusions: The findings of this study prove that (1) the road haulage industry has a similar conveyed information flow throughout the conducted operations. (2) The root causes in the information flow that leads to inefficiencies, appeared foremost in the upstream operations for the road haulage industry. (3) The inefficiencies inhibited mostly the utilization of time and cost during operations for the road haulage industry, which was a subjective judgment from the authors based on adopted frameworks. 

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