Purchasing 4.0: An Exploratory Multiple Case Study on the Purchasing Process Reshaped by Industry 4.0 in the Automotive Industry

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för ekonomistyrning och logistik (ELO); Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för ekonomistyrning och logistik (ELO)

Abstract: Title:  Purchasing 4.0: An Exploratory Multiple Case Study on the Purchasing Process Reshaped by Industry 4.0 in the Automotive Industry Authors: Simon Gottge, Torben Menzel Background: Rapidly transforming technologies and changing customer expectations trigger the fourth industrial revolution. This development, often referred to as ‘Industry 4.0’, is characterized by autonomously communicating and interacting technologies throughout the supply chain. Simultaneously, the importance of efficient purchasing processes in the automotive sector keeps growing as outsourcing and globalization tendencies increase. While Industry 4.0 publications are on the rise, little research is carried out on the impact on related supply chain functions, especially purchasing, calling for scientific investigations. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the influence of Industry 4.0 on purchasing at automotive manufacturers and further derive a visionary model of the reshaped purchasing process within the adjusted Purchasing 4.0 context. Method: The deductive research is carried out as exploratory multiple case study. In three cases, qualitative data from four dyads is analyzed. Interviews hereby were conducted with 23 participants representing different perspectives, also including case-independent experts. Findings & conclusion: Considering the influence of Industry 4.0 on purchasing, the research reveals, that new technologies and changes in manufacturing, integration and business context will impact the purchasing scope, collaboration, structure, and infrastructure. These changes include new components and different suppliers, a cross-functional and deeper supplier integration as well as collaboration platforms, holistic networks and assisting IT-systems. In the reshaped purchasing process, strategic sub processes will become highly integrated and technology supported, leading to a co-creation of specification, explorative supplier selection, parameter-based quotations and negotiations, and autonomous re-negotiations of changes. The operative purchasing process on the other hand is strongly shaped by real-time data usage, creating interactive call-offs, real-time tracking, proactive trouble shooting and holistic supplier evaluations. Keywords: Purchasing; Industry 4.0; Purchasing 4.0; Purchasing Process; Automotive

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