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Improving business to customer communication: Applying lean and information and communication technologies
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this current economical environment business are looking to become more efficient to lower the costs and provide a better service. New technological advances are quickly being integrated to automate or more rapidly perform the task. Most of these technological advances are in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). Nevertheless, the introduction of technologies is not enough, as better management strategies and organization structures are needed to develop the business further. Duroc Machine Tools identified a problem within the sales and service approach, which does not employ ICT tools while communicating with the customer. Therefore, the cost per order is high and a direct one to one communication is the only approach. The project focuses on lowering the cost of each order, without decreasing the customer care and the overall quality of the service. This was firstly done by studying the possibilities of what ICT tools would be applied to enhance the communication processes. Data was collected from statistical sources to give an overall idea. Next case studies of companies within similar industries and region were performed to indicate in more detail the tools used and available. An educated guess was formulated of what ICT tools should be considered, the more infrequent or conflicting ICTs recommended were verified by interviewing employees with a demonstration of the tools application. The second stage was to analyze the organizational structure and applying lean tools to add value to the customer. A customer perspective is at the centre of this theory and several tools were used to improve the system. Finally the ICT tools were integrated with the new organizational structure to demonstrate the developments possibilities in the future vision. The study found that common ICT functions such as information upload have become essential for doing business today. Another trend that was established is that live information or user-generated approach which is a must have factor in the future ICT platform, this was mostly suggested by introducing micro-blogs. The infrequent and conflicting ICTs within the industry that were recommended were: e-commerce, order management and model driven process solving (MDP). The verification showed a strong consent within the company to apply such tools. To finish the project a strategy of implementation was formulated to guide the company towards its vision of a better system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 78 p.
Degree Project in Production Engineering Management, Second Level, 424
Keyword [en]
information and communication technology, ICT, lean, process map, process flow chart, communication map, model driven process, MDP, order management, e-commerce, user generate, UG
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-50400OAI: diva2:461779
Subject / course
Production Engineering
Educational program
Master of Science - Production Engineering and Management
Available from: 2011-12-05 Created: 2011-12-05 Last updated: 2011-12-05Bibliographically approved

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