Improving the working routines with outgoing articles - A research project at IKEA San Diego

University essay from Lunds universitet/Produktionsekonomi

Abstract: The purpose of this Masters thesis is to improve IKEA San Diego’s existing working routine related to the out phasing process of outgoing articles. At the retailer IKEA San Diego, the process of phasing in and out articles was not working efficiently. To this day there have been several problems to get the process of phasing in and out articles that approach their end date sale (EDS) to work smoothly. Management has been reluctant to act and the routines have been poorly communicated. During the last year numerous events have taken place that further demands the out phasing process to be enhanced. The IKEA Corporation is currently changing their supply strategy which affects the out phasing routines. The store is transforming its operational ownership from franchise to a corporate ownership, thus decreasing the possibilities to set prices independently. The store is missing space to ensure growth and the Logistics Department at IKEA San Diego is failing a must-pass review, where one of the main issues was – to handle outgoing articles. All these factors are related to the purpose of this thesis and have been explored and evaluated. The research process has been executed in a cyclic and intimate manner with the sponsor company. Data have been collected through a global benchmark web survey and by continuous observation within IKEA. Once the problems have been identified and evaluated there has been a successive implementation, followed by further examination and new implementations. It is an Action Research based thesis and the method is inspired by Cunnigham’s Organizational Development theory. As a result of the authors work the IKEA San Diego store is now experiencing a more efficient and clear routine for how to handle the out phasing process. Administrative tasks have been reduced and improved, management have a higher awareness and a greater proactive attitude and are as result less reluctance to action. The average amount of outgoing articles has during the execution of this thesis been decreased by 35%.

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