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Launch site for new products and variants: Meaning and implications for SKF Factory Gothenburg
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Lanseringssite för nya produkter och varianter : Mening och innebörd för SKF Fabrik Göteborg (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The immense increase in customer consumption and demand sets the escalation for the globalization and world trade. Manufacturing companies need to expand their network with geographically distributed sites, factories and functions in order to create competitive advantages. Various subsidiaries create an advanced global network consisting of different markets, conditions and regulations that need to be taken into account when adapting and managing the network. This implicates a necessity for companies to be able to organize every subsidiary to its own specific role for creating possibilities to focus and become experts in a specific field which can increase company competitiveness. Commonly one site or factory within this vast intra-firm network is considered as strategically important and serves as a central knowledge hub and intermediary, usually called a "Core Plant" or "Lead factory". Furthermore this subsidiary can also be responsible for launching new products or variants with significant strategical importance for the entire corporation, described as a "Launch Site". To adapt every factory to different roles can create tensions and competitiveness within the intra-firm network, not doing so can create confusion about ownership, responsibilities, development halter and result in customer blindness. This thesis aims to investigate the meaning for a factory that already works as a knowledge hub and intermediary to be appointed as a launch site for new products and product variants.

In order to approach the aim of this thesis, following research questions has been answered:

1. What is the most suiting term for a factory that launches new products and variants?

2. Who are the stakeholders affected by a launch site appointment?

3. What are the stakeholders’ expectations on a launch Site?

4. What features and processes needs to be in place in order for a factory to be appointed as a launch Site?

5. What competence and working skills are needed to perform the features and processes?

6. What are the benefits and challenges of being a launch Site?

7. How should the global development work executed by a launch site be financially structured?

In order to investigate the area, a case study applied to a Swedish bearing manufacturer with a vast intra-firm network – SKF, has been conducted. Multiple interviews, participating observations and a questionnaire have been executed at the case company site in Gothenburg for collecting information. A benchmarking study has been conducted for gathering an external view on a company that already works as a launch site. The benchmarking study was applied for AstraZeneca in Södertälje and was made through a semi-structured interview. A literature study was made in order to gather relevant theoretical information linked to the research area for validating research connectivity. The empirical results together with the theoretical framework were merged together in a analysis for answering the research aim and questions.

The research concluding results indicate that SKF already works as a launch site and have the required competence for managing the entailing responsibilities as a launch site. The specific launch site definition for SKF Gothenburg Factory would be to; implement and launch new products and variants. This also implies a responsibility for developing new processes and techniques adapted to these products. The number one stakeholders affected by a launch site appointment would be the subsidiaries within the same SKF cluster, the Factory Management and the Engineering and Development Department located in the Gothenburg factory. Further recommendations would be to strengthen the competence and workforce within these departments and further divide development work into; global and local for keeping track of the work executed and facilitate for economic distributions among subsidiaries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 90 p.
Keyword [en]
Core plant, lead factory, intra-firm network
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-35561OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-35561DiVA: diva2:1105611
External cooperation
SKF; COPE - Core Plant Excellence Project
Subject / course
Product and Process Development
Presentation
2017-06-01, E208, Eskilstuna, 08:49 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Projects
COPE
Available from: 2017-06-09 Created: 2017-06-05 Last updated: 2017-06-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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Output format
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