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Development of a Supplier Certification Process through Six Sigma: A case of CEMEX Mexico
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today’s competitive business climate, one of the purchasing department’s more important activities is the qualification and maintenance of a competent supply base. One way of developing a more competent and reliable supply base is the use of supplier certification programs. The central element in a supplier certification program is the buying firm’s desire to assure reliable supplier performance, consequently fostering financial and operational success through evaluation and exclusion of inferior suppliers. The evident problem with supplier certification is that it is time-consuming and expensive to select, promote and use certified suppliers. This included with the fact that the potential rewards from supplier certification are mainly seen after a long period of time, which leads to most firms settling with just making an initial evaluation of their suppliers instead of continuously evaluating and developing their supply base.CEMEX, the world’s largest building materials supplier and third largest cement producer, is experiencing problems with their Mexican suppliers. As a way of addressing these problems, the firm has decided to develop a process for supplier certification. It is stated that firms usually use learning-by-doing or learning-before-doing when creating a new process instead of some kind of theoretic alternative. When referring to the creation of entirely new processes, the only theoretic alternative available is Design for Six Sigma and its framework DMADV. It was therefore interesting to study how Six Sigma can be used as a systematic way of developing an entirely new process. The main purpose of my thesis was to explore the applicability of the Six Sigma methodology DMADV when creating a supplier certification process that allows for continuous improvement of suppliers. In order to explore this, my thesis had to be able to answer the research problem: “How applicable is Six Sigma's DMADV when developing a supplier certification process?”This thesis has been conducted using a qualitative research. The research approach used is deduction and the research strategy in this thesis consists of a case study at the world’s largest building materials provider and the third largest cement producer, CEMEX. The case study was conducted from January 10th 2011 to May 16th 2011 in Monterrey, Mexico. The data collection mainly used was complete participant observation, meaning that the researcher took part in the case study. The researcher was part of a project team consisting of himself and three senior negotiators. What was observed and documented was the entire work process and documents used and created through the use of the DMADV-framework. The results and conclusions show that it is possible to develop a supplier certification process by using DMADV, but that the applicability of the framework’s phases vary quite a bit. It is identified that the first and last phases (Design and Verify) are highly applicable and that the fourth phase (Design) is also quite applicable, while the Measure and Analyse phases are more difficult to apply. Design and Verify were most applicable because of the simplicity of the phases. Basically it consists of creating a project description, writing procedures and standards, trying out the process, fixing the problems encountered, and then measuring the requirement fulfilment or customer satisfaction. All of these are elements that are easily realised with both a quantitative and a qualitative process. Measure and Analyse were the least applicable phases mainly because of the difficulties the project team had of establishing quantified measures for a process that lacks quantifiable data and is only concentrated around qualitative data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
Teknik, supplier certification, DMADV, supplier evaluation, certification program, cemex, supplier management, supplier development
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-53441Local ID: a721d6b2-b677-4b37-b31e-8d0442997fe0OAI: diva2:1026815
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Industrial and Management Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20110610 (anonymous)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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