Determining Supply Chain Inventory Locations Through Product Classification: A Case Study of a Sealing Material Company
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Nowadays firms must develop inventory policies that enable them to cope with the changing marketplace. Determining proper inventory locations can help decrease costs related to inventory holding and transportation. Moreover, this allows firms to respond in a timely manner to customers’ requirements. As a result profit margins can be enhanced as well as the competitiveness of a firm. However, the decision of where to locate inventory in a supply chain is difficult since many companies are managed independently.
The present research is developed as a case study where product classification, customer and supplier segmentation schemes are reviewed in order to determine appropriate inventory locations along the supply chain.
The thesis is written upon literature and empirical research, where most of the data was collected through personal interviews and observations at the supply chain management offices of a distributor for sealing material parts in Europe.
Our conclusion shows that product classification has an important impact on inventory location decisions. Also, we conclude that products should be classified based on both physical characteristics and demand factors, as well as according to customers’ requirements. Another factor to be considered when deciding on inventory location is supply risks, due to issues related to raw material availability and capacity. Nonetheless, the selection of classification variables is challenging as it is hard to determine which factors are more relevant than others as this varies depending on each firms’ needs. In addition, we find that supply chain strategies are not realistic due to the constant changes in the business environment and the inability of a firm to manage whole supply chains. Furthermore, a high level of communication among supply chain partners is fundamental, especially when a centralized inventory policy and a postponement strategy are in place.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 49 p.
Inventory location, product classification, supply chain management, postponement, decoupling point
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18426OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-18426DiVA: diva2:534402
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law