Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate possible reasons for long lead-time in a customer driven production, and how the lead-time can be reduced. To fulfil the purpose the study has been broken down into two questions.
2. How to reduce the lead-time in a customer-driven production?
Methodology – A literature review and a case study has been conducted to fulfil the purpose. The case study is conducted at JELD-WEN AB in Forserum. The empirical data have been collected by observations, interviews and by document studies. A Value Stream Map has also been used as a method to show the present state. By analysing collected empirical data with the theoretical framework the findings of the study was generated.
Findings – The study identified four factors that cause long lead-time. These are: planning and steering, push production system, lot sizing and priority rule. All of these individual factors have in common that they all lead to an identified main factor, Work in progress (WIP). According to Little ́s law a high level of WIP results in a increased lead-time. To reduce the lead-time it is important to take control of the level of WIP. It is possible to control the level of work in progress by using a pull-system with generic kanban. Further, the production system should be synchronized with identified bottleneck to create a smoother flow. The level of WIP is also affected by the size of the production batch and should therefore also be considered and adjusted accordingly. To avoid the risk of sub-optimizing the production flow, it is important to consider how each resource or section are optimizing, and how their priorities were made.
Implications – By implementing the recommendations of the authors, the level of WIP can be controlled. By providing the decision making process with the right information based on accurate data, the correct effect can be achieved.
Limitations - Limitations of the study are covered by the fact that only one case company was investigated. Because of that, it is difficult to draw general conclusions from the results obtained in the study. The study is also limited in that the possible factors identified to affect the lead-time are not exclusive, other factors may have been left out.
Key Words – Customer-driven production, Work in progress, Lead-time reduction.
2014. , 56 p.