Stickering of Food Products at IKEA – Improving a Process Through Learning from Others

University essay from Lunds universitet/Teknisk logistik

Abstract: Title: Stickering of Food Products at IKEA–Improving a Process Through Learning from Others; Increasing process maturity to ensure future performance Authors: John Nyqvist and Victoria Vernet Supervisors: Eva Berg, Department of Industrial Management and Logistics, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University Problem description: Stickering has been used at IKEA for a long time to create compliant food products on markets where volumes are too low. Low volumes make it economically challenging to create compliant artworks and to produce large enough batches to meet cost requirements. This results in that stickering is the most cost-effective solution in some niche cases. Previously, stickering has been performed at IKEA retailers, and the translation and validation of stickers has been handled by different actors in the supply chain. IFSAG, IKEA’s food wholesaler, has set new requirements on stickering, saying that food products must be compliant when sold to retailers. This, along with the requirement that translation and validation should be run centrally at BA Food, means that that the volume of products which require stickering will increase. Today, capacity is strained at DC Helsingborg, meaning that to prepare for increasing flows in the coming years, the stickering process needs to be investigated. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to increase the knowledge of stickering of food items at IKEA’s DC Helsingborg, as well as propose recommendations to improve the stickering process. Research questions: RQI: How is stickering performed at DC Helsingborg today and what are the challenges? SQ1: What does the stickering process look like? SQ2: How is performance measured in the stickering process? SQ3: What are the current challenges in performing stickering at IKEA? RQII: What can be learnt from academia and industry cases? RQIII: How can the stickering process performance at IKEA be improved? Methodology: As little was known in previous research on stickering as an activity and the study intended to make way for future studies, the methodology of choice was an exploratory study. Case studies were utilized as this aligned well with the less structured data collection in the form of interviews as well as the goal of the study to be descriptive. A single case was formulated for IKEA to answer RQI and SQ1-3. A multiple case involving three sub-cases of Similar Players, 3PLs and Technical Solution Providers was designed to provide three different perspectives on the stickering process and answer RQII. Lastly a cross-case analysis of the single and multiple case was conducted to answer RQIII. Conclusion: It was found that the stickering process at IKEA was immature on several process capabilities. Recommendations were formulated to address process maturity and elevate the process to ensure future performance such as deciding whether to keep stickering at DC Helsingborg, appointing a process owner with formalized responsibility and increasing understanding of process performance. Key words: Stickering, labelling, packaging information requirements, food supply chain, process maturity

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