Impact of 3D Printing on Supply Chain Relationships: A Study within the German Automotive and Logistics Sector
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Background: By introducing new technologies in the production processes, manufacturing is going digital. 3D printing is a technology that will change the way goods are produced. Entire supply networks have to adapt to changes that will arise by the implementation of additive manufacturing. Hence, the existing relationships between supply chain actors will alter. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship changes between automotive original equipment manufacturers and logistics service providers in Germany by investigating the possibility of outsourcing the production via 3D printing. Method: A multimethod qualitative research strategy is used to explore the topic. Through two cases – original equipment manufacturers and third party logistics providers – data were gathered by semi-structured interviews. Additionally, archival research as well as observations took place to strengthen the findings by triangulation. Findings: Original equipment manufacturers and third party logistics providers see a bright future for 3D printing and anticipate that their supply chain relationships will be affected. Considerations to outsource the production via 3D printing play a major role in both types of companies. But to whom it should be outsourced cannot be assessed today as the technology has to be developed further. Third party logistics providers are suitable candidates as they already have a global distribution network at strategic locations. Furthermore, they could add 3D printing to their value added services portfolio and combine several tasks. Conclusion: 3D printing will change entire supply chains. Even today, all companies need to be aware of these changes and take all possibilities into consideration. These changes will not occur in the short run as 3D printing needs further development. Outsourcing 3D printing and offering it as value added service are topics that will alter the connections between original equipment manufacturers and third party logistics providers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 58 p.
3D printing, outsourcing, supply chain relationships, automotive, logistics, Germany, additive manufacturing, TPL
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30152ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-30152DiVA: diva2:932863
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Antai, Imoh, Assistant Professor Business Administration
Hellerstedt, Karin, Assistant Professor