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Improving Supplier Volume Communication Within the Automotive Industry A case study of buyer-supplier communication

Matilda van den Broek ; Matilda Florén
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2018. 69 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, 2018.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

Buyer-supplier communication, i.e. the exchange of information between a business organization and the suppliers, has an important role in the success of organizations. A noneffective communication might imply negative consequences in terms of not receiving resources on time or at all. Further, the communication affects how attractive a buying firm is perceived by its suppliers. This in turn decides whether or not a firm receives a preferential resource allocation by the suppliers in comparison to its competitors and is granted access to the suppliers’ innovations. An effective communication is thus a prerequisite to be able to compete. The study of this master thesis is made in collaboration with the Volvo Group, one of Sweden’s largest manufacturer of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. In 2017 the world market of trucks increased, which resulted in strong order books but also a stressed supply chain due to extraordinary high volumes. Not all suppliers were able to deliver according to demand, which lead to a low delivery precision. This affected the Volvo Group in a negative way, and indicated a need of an improved communication. The purpose of this master thesis was to present suggestions regarding how the supplier volume communication of the Volvo Group can be improved in order to position the company as an attractive customer toward it suppliers and increase the delivery precision. Supplier volume communication refers to the communication in the purchasing process between the Volvo Group and the suppliers, concerning confirmed orders and forecasted volumes. In order to fulfill the purpose, the current supplier volume communication was mapped, and areas of improvement of the supplier volume communication were identified. The empirical data was collected through semi-structured interviews, an online survey, and internal documents. The findings were then analyzed and used to create recommendations of how to alter the supplier volume communication of the Volvo Group. Six different areas of improvement of the supplier volume communication of the Volvo Group were identified, namely an unstructured interface toward the suppliers, the channels do not enable sufficient feedback, the suppliers do not utilize the forecasted volumes, a lack of common knowledge of what can and cannot be communicated, difficulties to reach the correct receiver, and outdated channels. The analysis of the areas of improvement resulted in recommendations of how to alter the supplier volume communication of the Volvo Group. The suggested actions aim to contribute to an increased customer attractiveness as well as an increased delivery precision by enhancing the effectiveness of the supplier volume communication.

Nyckelord: buyer-supplier communication, external business communication, volume data, customer attractiveness, delivery precision

Publikationen registrerades 2018-07-02. Den ändrades senast 2018-07-02

CPL ID: 255401

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