Integrating Packaging and Logistics in Industrial Development

Sammanfattning: Global Enterprises today are dependent on performance within complex networks. To become effective and efficient, it is more important than ever to organize operations in order to capitalize on resources and to integrate different activities. This means that the supply chain and logistics have become core activities in international enterprises. Transportation has also become an issue based on the most recent ICC and UN reports where the concerns for CO2 emissions have been highlighted. Thus the efficient and effective handling and transportation of goods become central when a company has a policy of buying products from any country and company that produce the best products available, while at the same time needing to deliver the final product all over the world. Packaging is often considered part of logistics: still there is a gap between packaging know-how and logistics know-how both at the company and research levels. There is also a discrepancy between the educational level among personnel in packaging and logistics in most production companies. To address this issue and investigate if there is industrial evidence that packaging and logistics are interrelated, the objective of the research presented in this thesis has been to explore the potential! To develop the packaging logistics system’s perspective along with market driven demands on changes in production. The studies have been carried out at Volvo Cars, where 1 work. This is why it has been natural to use an actor’s approach together with a case study methodology. Based on data collected over more than 20 years, 1 wanted to confront the work carried out and experiences collected in a company with the research carried out at the university involving systematic analyzes. 1 wanted to do this to see if the academic perceptions developed and conclusions drawn were real and ready for application in a wider perspective when new policies are initiated to optimize the supply chain to meet environmental challenges. Four studies were carried out based on the data collected and reported in four articles submitted to international conferences. These studies show that packaging ought to be considered a critical activity closely linked to logistics and considered as company core business. This must be understood when outsourcing decisions are taken. if a company does not see packaging as part of its core competence, it will lose the possibility to control inbound logistics as well as production logistics. All products need packaging in different stages in the supply network; packaging producers deliver into a core” network. Thus they are seldom an integrated actor of the core supply network. Consequently, the more the package and product development can be functionally combined, and integrated to the supply chain system, the greater the possibility of being competitive. This is accepted theoretically, however, industrial consequences are not yet highlighted since empirical knowledge about packaging effects on the entire production and supply network is limited. in addition, the studies show that proper consideration of packaging and logistics in product design makes it possible to influence product costs, and that logistics people with knowledge of packaging need to be engaged early in any new design project. It is not only the specific packaging and logistics knowledge that is required. The study carried out concerning learning during the process in which 1 was involved identified in retrospect that there had been an evolution towards a learning organization. Thus it is recommended to make competence build-up an integral part of future internal! and external educational programs. The multidisciplinary competence established should also be considered when teams are set up for new projects. The thesis describes also the leading role Volvo took in the development of the supply chain thus building a process of great national importance for industrial development.

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