This report is the result of a thesis performed at Westermo Industrial Ltd with its headquarters in Stora Sundby and it sums up the author's studies for University Engineering in Innovation, Production and Logistics at Mälardalen University.
The main goal of the thesis was to identify problems and suggest actions that lead to the reduction of the repair time from 3 weeks to 2 weeks. The key questions that were answered in order to achieve the thesis objectives are:
What are the biggest challenges that make the repair process time last for 3 weeks?
What are the necessary means and measures in order to reduce the repair length to 2 weeks?
The author adjusted the work to the Swedish repairs, repair issues that arise from sell unit Westermo Data Communications AB with its office in Västerås and performed the status report by mapping the repair process, through using observations, interviews and bibliography research studies. A flow map of four sub-processes (Inbound Delivery, BackOffice, Repair Department, and Logistics) was made and each section was observed, where also the employees were interviewed. Data that has been collected was analysed by the author and the decision to execute a workshop that affects Repair Department and Logistics was made. Consequently to this, these two services will prove to have the greatest impact on repair time.
It is notified that the main reason for the repair process length today is so long is due to the fact that the owner of the repair process does not exist, which leads to so many unanswered questions and unclearness through the whole process, which occur and result in the situation where the process does not work as a whole, but each sub-process is acting separately on its own. Problems also arise because of the persons that are bound to the process, where both engineers at repair department are specialized in their own field and cannot perform the second engineer's work. Furthermore, due to the incomplete description that is usually provided by the customers, makes even more difficult to define the problem, which is yet another reason why the repair time is so long today.
The suggestions for improvement that are recommended, in the first place to reduce the length of the repair process - is to create an entirely new position within repair process – the owner. In order to correct the deficiency with incomplete error descriptions from the clients, they should introduce network-based fault reports, which contain a number of mandatory fields that the customer must fill out in order to describe the problem and the conditions that existed when the fault with their unit occurred. This would simultaneously also eliminate the waiting length on the warranty of the unit if it is not applicable, and a response regarding that particular repair for the customer. Furthermore, training of repair engineers should be initiated for them, so they will be able to fix all units coming in for repair. The key objective here is to reduce the waiting length when the unit is on wait to be treated by the "right" engineer.
In future, with the aforementioned, and other improvement proposals that are developed and explained in this report, repair time can be significantly reduced, which will further on improve the entire repair process.