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  • 1.
    Cramér, Martin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
    Matsson, Anders
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
    Customization Through Standardization: a study on Atlas Copco Tools & Assembly Systems’ market offer of fixtured tools to the motor vehicle industry2004Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Atlas Copco Tools & Assembly Systems (ACTA) is world leader in industrial tools and assembly systems for safety-critical joints. One of the products the company sells is fixtured nutrunners, mainly to the motor vehicle industry. The margins on these highly customized products have been decreasing – much depending on changes in the purchasing behavior of the automotive industry.

    Traditionally, the marketing of the fixtured nutrunners has been concentrated to the parts of the product instead of the final product. Today, there is a belief within the organization that many of the sold customized products could be replaced by more standardized applications. There is also a wish to turn the focus of the market offer from the parts towards the final application. These beliefs and wishes resulted in this thesis, with the purpose to propose a new market offer to increase profitability and give more customer benefits.

    To reach this purpose we started out with theoretical studies of several different areas. Among those was mass customization, a strategy that combines the benefits of mass production with those of customization. We also performed a prestudy at the headquarters of ACTA in Sickla and visited major customers in Sweden. Using our collected knowledge from the theoretical studies and the prestudy, we conducted an in-depth case study by interviewing customers and people working at ACTA, both in Sweden and in the USA, in order to analyze today’s situation. In the analysis, we found several problems with today’s offer. For instance, we found that similar products are solved with unique solutions, which has lead to poor cost control and has made it difficult for ACTA to assure the quality of the ordered products. A further problem is the poor sales support and the lack of traceability of sold systems, which reduces sales and leads to unnecessary special solutions. A problem linked to that is the difficulties in getting accurate and sufficient information from the customer, which leads to extra errors and a lot of extra work.

    To solve these problems, we recommend ACTA to implement a mass customization strategy. Of course, not all of ACTA’s products can be mass customized, but to a large extent it should be possible. To implement a mass customization strategy, we argue that ACTA should take three measures, namely design standard products, modularize the products, and implement a computerized configuration tool. We also suggest that the implementation of the new market offer should be done stepwise. With the proposed new market offer, we believe that ACTA can increase profitability in the area of fixtured nutrunners without losing the flexibility of the products.

  • 2.
    Grundström, Christina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Sjöström, Roland
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Uddenberg, Anders
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Öhwall Rönnbäck, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Fast-growing SMEs and the Role of Innovation2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In a study of 409 Swedish SMEs, the difference between the highest growing, which can be characterized as gazelles, and the lowest growing companies were examined regarding performance change 2006-2009 and what contributed to the growth from an innovation perspective. It was concluded that, besides growing, the highest growing companies also showed high profitability, increased number of employees, and significantly higher market shares locally, nationally and internationally than the lowest growing companies. Several traits were found to contribute to this. The highest growing companies had a significantly higher portion of new products as part of the turnover 2006-2009, and they perceived themselves as better than their competitors at: 1) offering better products, 2) understanding customer needs, 3) being agile, and 4) keeping costs down. They also found it more important to take risks, reinvest any profit and to focus on growth than the lowest growing companies, and this regardless of industry.

  • 3.
    Rydén, Anders
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
    Godstransporter inom Landstinget i Östergötland: Behov och kostnadsfördelning2005Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The County Council of Östergötland (CCÖ) purchases since year 2001 all transportation of goods from external suppliers. The purpose of this report is to investigate the need for transportation of goods and how to distribute the costs for the transports within the CCÖ. The underlying reason is a new procurement in year 2006. The goal was to simplify the supplier contracts and find a solution to how to handle changes in the transportation net with minimal need for administrative work. The solution should also make it possible to keep transportation costs low.

    The study has shown that it through standardisation of transport time limits is possible to achieve considerable simplifications of contracts. The transport supplier is also given more time space to adjust the CCÖ transports to those of other customers. This will reduce the transportation cost and make lower prices possible. By introducing a unified fare for transports within the main cities Motala, Linköping and Norrköping and a specified fare to each other town or village where CCÖ has any activity, time consuming contract negotiations can be avoided. This can be achieved thanks to the fact that it is stipulated in the contract how to economically handle changes.

    CCÖ uses a buy-and-sell system where costs for goods and services are distributed through transfer pricing to each unit. The main part of the CCÖ transports is of a kind that is not possible for each unit to have any influence on. For example the laboratory tests must be sent daily to the central laboratory. Since the cost managing effect of the transfer price then is zero the transportation cost can be moved to a higher organisational level instead, which will reduce administrative work. Therefore, the CCÖ is recommended to move transportation costs from single units to centres.

    When several units from different centres share one transport a percentage share should divide the cost where different types of units will have different shares. A health centre is in more need of a test transport, than a dental clinic is of transporting mail with the same transport. Therefore the health centre should pay a bigger part of the cost than the dental clinic.

    The transportation contract is suggested to be divided into five parts: supply transports as one and transport of mail, tests and parcels in Motala, Linköping, Norrköping and Other Östergötland as the other four. The transportation centre for mail, tests and parcels will be the Linköping University Hospital.

    By conducting the suggested changes the CCÖ should be able to make its contract handling more effective. By doing that, there is also a possibility for low costs.

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