Creating a competitive advantage in southeast Asia and Australia
As companies strive for getting the upper hand on the competition, there is one area that is receiving increasing interest, namely logistics. In this thesis, our contribution to the knowledge of how a competitive advantage can be created within the heavy equipment industry is presented. This is conceptualized in the model Holistic competitive advantage', which demonstrates the importance of managing the flows of products, information and financial transactions efficiently from the moment an order is placed until the customer pays for the product. This model is based on a process perspective that crosses functional boundaries in order to highlight the benefits of taking a truly holistic view of a companies international activities when designing a competitive strategy. By reviewing the activities related to the order-to-payment process, scopes for reducing costs and lead-time are greater than when taking the traditional approach of improving certain logistical functions within an organization. At the same time customer service is improved. Volvo Construction Equipment has been used as the case study company in this thesis. Its production of heavy and bulky machines in distant locations for the Southeast Asian and Australian markets forms an excellent example to study since its products pose rather specific requirements in terms of transportation, warehousing and after market support.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law