The Potential of 3PL Involvement in an Asphalt Manufacturing Project
Abstract: Purpose – This thesis explores and identifies issues considered critical when engaging third-party logistics (3PL) in an asphalt-manufacturing project. The research highlights and discusses those issues including the reliability and maintainability of the equipment used in hauling materials in the project.Methodology – A comprehensive literature review is carried out on topics relevant to supply chain management and third party logistics involvement in manufacturing projects. Empirical data are collected from a single exploratory case study– Nordic construction company (NCC) Gävle, Sweden. Semi-structured interviews and a brief empirical observation are used in gathering data for this research. Numerical data are analyzed with the application of engineering/statistical theories. Data analyses are performed by relating established theoretical models with empirical findings.Findings – The findings in this thesis underlined reliability, trust, quality, communication, material haulage, and commitment as critical issues affecting 3PL involvement in the in-house material transportation of an asphalt-manufacturing project. Only Volvo Equipment (brand) is used in the project and its failure rate became very low when exponential distribution theory was applied to check its trustworthiness. The reliability and maintainability of NCC’s delivery equipment showed high significant performance without 3PL involvement. Moreover, the implementation of 3PL within the project has potential benefits, such as cost reduction, and increased employment within the municipality etc. As an environmentally focused project, the standard temperature for asphalt production dropped from conventional 1600C down to 1200C without undermining the quality of asphalt being produced at the plant.Limitations & Further Research – The generalizability of the concluding results in the study is limited based on selection of only one case-company involving only five persons for data collection and analyses. This study adopts reliability-engineering formulas as instruments used in checking the trustworthiness of the delivery equipment used in the project with focus on the useful period of the machineries. Performing a similar study with a focus on a different period (e.g. wearing-out period of the equipment) would be valuable especially in encouraging Lean Production, Innovation management (RD) in industrial engineering and manufacturing.Practical Implications – The outlined critical issues can generally be helpful to any manufacturing company that is considering 3PL engagement. It serves as a framework for in-house logistics managers of aggregates transportation within companies that produce asphalt.Key words- Logistics, third party logistics, reliability engineering, supply chain management.
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