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Analysis and Process improvements of Volvo Penta's process for supplier related warranty issues: with focus on the Purchasing department
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Industrial Engineering and Management, Electrical- and Mechanical Engineering.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Volvo Penta is a worldwide company that provides power solutions all over the world. They aim to be the most forward thinking and customer focused supplier of sustainable power solutions. The company's core values are Quality, Safety and Environmental care.

Volvo Penta works with quality issues found by customers in the field. The current Quality Journal (QJ) process is perceived to be slow and inefficient. For Volvo Group customer focus is important and field complaints are both expensive and damaging to the brand. The approach method to solve a QJ is the eight discipline of problem solving.

This thesis aimed to find where in the process time is wasted and reduce the throughput time for the QJ process. To achieve this the thesis, a Case Study has been the approached methodology. A Case Study's purpose is to gain a deeper knowledge of a subject. The methods that were used to gain deeper knowledge for the subject were semi- and open interviews, workshop and internal documents and data. To secure validity and reliability of the thesis different perspectives have been taken into consideration for each method.

The theoretical framework for this thesis has also been used to ensure validity for the study. The choice of theoretical framework for this study has been founded on Lean manufacturing tools, Agile project methods, flow within processes and group dynamics.

DMAIC has been the structure for this thesis. DMAIC is a method that can be used to improve upon a process. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. The method states that to improve a process there must first be a process.

The workshops purpose was to conduct a process- and value stream map as well as to find potential causes to why the process was perceived to be too slow. It was conducted with a cross-functional team that previously had worked in a QJ case.

The interviews conducted for this thesis were approached in a semi-structured and opened way. This generated a lot of information that needed to be reviewed. 

The data was to be used to find statistical and measurable conditions for the thesis. This was however not possible. The obtained data was deemed unreliable to make any conclusion from.

The internal documents provided to this thesis have helped to get a general knowledge of how the QJ process is supposed to work. However, a lot of self-made documents have been received. They have been deemed to be unusable for this thesis since they are conducted on subjective facts. No documentation obtaining work instructions for each department has been received for this thesis.

All methods generated potential causes to why the process did not achieve its purpose. They have been conducted in an Ishikawa cause-and-effect chart. With each approach method potential causes listed could be discarded. Eventually there were four causes left that were identified as the root causes to the problem. There was no standardized approach to QJs, lack of well formulated Key Performance Index (KPI), lack of communication tools and inefficient teams.  

The result of the thesis is that the fundamental preconditions for improving a process were missing. It was found that there was no use to improve upon the existing QJ process, since no evident facts could be obtained that assure that the improvements would make the process more efficient.

This thesis suggests assigning a cross-functional pilot QJ team. They will put all their focus on solving QJs and start to establish a standardized process. Making a structural change within the organization, which this thesis proposes, takes time. Full support in the entire organization is needed for this improvement to succeed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 50
Keywords [en]
Power solutions, sustainability
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-13925Local ID: EXM503OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-13925DiVA, id: diva2:1321787
Subject / course
Mechanical engineering
Educational program
Industriell ekonomi
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-10 Created: 2019-06-10 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved

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