RTLS – the missing link to optimizing Logistics Management?
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how potentials of Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) in relation to Just In Time (JIT) management could be utilized within logistics management. For this, a framework, based on previous research of the interrelations of RTLS and JIT management, is proposed, to assess the effects of RTLS on logistics management, both on a managerial - as well as on an operational level. To answer the proposed research questions, the study followed a deductive and exploratory case study design, which was conducted at a company within the automotive industry. To understand the challenges within logistics management at the case company, interviews, observations, analysis of internal documents and a focus group were used, which allowed for a triangulation of the captured information. The findings and analysis of the data show that on an operational level the challenges within logistics management are related to complex logistic structures, pull strategies with partial push material flows, lack of information and – reliable data, as well as processes reliant on individuals. On the managerial level the findings suggest challenges related to high complexity and space constraints, time constraints, lack of transparency and – data connections, the company's improvement focus, employee attitude and a lack of reliable data. When the challenges were evaluated in relation to the proposed framework, it shows that these challenges would be resolved or counteracted by the benefits RTLS could provide in relation to JIT management. This study thereby supports the positive correlation between RTLS’s potential and JIT in logistics management.
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