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Logistics and supply chain Continuous Improvement About Marel When Marel was formally founded in 1983, the

company focused solely on marine s cales. The scales customer group were largely Icelanders involved in the fishing industry. Through an interactive customer relationship the company was empowered with a unique opportunity to develop their products, which has played a role in the companys success. From the beginning the company has strived to escalate the level of development and innovation and today, Marel is a leading global provid er of services to the fish, meat and poultry industries (Marel, e.d.). Marels vision is to remain a leading company in developing as well as making and marketing high-tech equipment for the food industry. In order to preserve its co mpetitive advantage the company intends to endeavour to excel in market presence , innovation and operational excellence (Marel, e.d.). Marel Food Systems is a service oriented company first and foremost, and has man aged to sustain an extensive relationship with its customers throughout the year s. However, the post transactions is also carefully considered as well as earlie r stages of the business relationship. Customer training is a process where th e representatives at Marel continue to provide assistance on how to use, maintai n and handle the products in order to achieve maximum performance and further cu stomer satisfaction (Marel, e.d.) The scales The scales are innovative products who are continuously reviewed and improved. From the start the scales have outclassed competitors products with precise weig hing in arduous environments. They are equipped with motion compensation mechani sm which is especially useful onboard ships where it allows for accurate weighin g results, despite rolling and turbulences. The scales also collect and communic ate data that are commonly integrated with other information computer software. Thereby, the scales can provide its users with a crucial head start in an increa singly demanding market environment. Forecasts In addition to embracing forecasts made by NPD Group, a global provider of cons umer and retail market research information, Marel should monitor critical facto rs that affect the companys products. Factors that should be looked carefully int o include market developments, competitor actions and new rivals in the market, both horizontal as well as vertical. Other elements that can have impact on the demand connote fisheries legislation and regulations regarding the food industry (www.npdgroup.com, e.d.). ------------------------------------------------Agile principles suitable for Marel Marel is an example of a market responsive company, which must be able to react to changing demand immediately. To meet its customer requirements the best way it can, Marel deploys a version of a mass customization manufacturing system, to produce almost custom made output. Such a system is necessary as the scales are very high in variety but low in volume. With demand as volatile as is the case with the scales, the company must have the agility to respond to demand on the g o. Therefore, a vendor managed inventory is not a suitable layout for Marel. An agile based strategy would be more practical, however. The foundation for the ag ile principals are seven: i. Synchronize activities through shared information, whereas information is delivered to multiple parties in the supply chain simultaneously. ii. Work Smarter, not harder remits to how time should be spent on value addi ng activities such as re-engineering processes that might shorten the lead time. iii. Partner with suppliers in order to increase the responsiveness in the sup ply chain through Vendor Managed Inventory.

iv. Seek to reduce complexity. v. Postpone the final configuration of the products. vi. Manage processes as a whole instead of focusing on specific work procedur es. vii. Utilize appropriate performance metrics (Christopher, 2005). When a customer raises an order for a scale with Marel the production starts. Th e current logistics network enables a delivery of a fully operational scale in t wo weeks after an order is placed. Marel does not keep any scales on stocks wh ich brings about number of advantages for the company. Not only does the low sto ck strategy minimize the drawback of capital commitment but it also helps to avo id the risk of devaluation of fully assembled, finished goods due to obsolesce o r damage. The disadvantage of the low inventory orientation is the two week lead time needed for the delivery of the scales. Figure [ 1 ]. Marel Supply Chain Marel utilizes postponement in its production, as the scales are not fully asse mbled and crafted until a final order has been made. In our opinion, Marel shoul d strive to minimize all stock keeping through the use of postponement as much a s possible. In order to simplify stockkeping even further, it might be a viable option to at tempt to reduce the variety of the scales, without sacrificing the quality of se rvice. It might also be cost effective to try to standardize the products, so ea ch component in a scale would have than one practical use and could fit into sev eral types of scales. For example, a multi use of a scales platform will allow fo r a greater flexibility, quicker responses and even less inventory. Furthermore, Marel could consider outsourcing some of the production steps in th e manufacturing stage. The advantages such a placement might bring about is a mo re efficient and quicker production process. Also, it would reduce the space req uirements in the plant. Though outsourcing might complicate the logistic supply chain slightly, the most obvious down side relates to confidentiality in regards to the technical knowledge by whom Marel has gained its competitive advantage th rough. Although Marel must clearly protect its years worth of investment in R&D, it still might be a viable alternative to outsource some of the more standard t asks. Supply Chain Balanced Scorecard An efficient logistic supply chain strives to minimize lead times in the most c ost economic way possible, whilst attempting to fortify both customer service an d supply chain partner relationships at the same time. Utilization of a Balanced Scorecard can provide a greater overview of the organi zations performance as a whole. There are many factors a company can measure to evaluate its own performance. However, the Balanced Scorecard method demands tha t the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are identified to provide focus on which m easures of performance are critical for the business performance. The Balanced S corecard usually covers four main areas; Financial, customer, internal busines s affairs and training. Example of KPIs might be costs of manufacturing, on time deliveries, forecast errors, and staff training certificates (Logistics Manageme nt, 8. mars 2010 and Supply Chain Metric, e.d.). Therefore, we would suggest the use of Supply Chain Balanced Scorecard for Marel , to help managers to perform overall methodical observations of the companys per formance. Human Resource The soft facts Marels human capital consist of well educated employees with a great deal of kno wledge and experience in product development. The company aims to create a chall enging and productive work environment for its personnel through its flat and fl exible structure. It is hoped that the organization of the company chart stimula

tes decision making, responsibility and reinforces the employees loyalty. Each w orkers contributions is valued greatly and managers are to encourage employees to air new ideas and execute them. In a way the human resource policy within Marel resembles a Continuous Process Improvement strategy. CPI attempts to create a c ompany culture which encourages innovative thinking, in a formal, systematic way (Marel, e.d.). The organization chart revolves around solutions and products whereas different types of industries, divide the organization into focus areas. Internal knowled ge cells within the company operate across the departments.

References Christopher, M. (2005). Logistics and supply chain management (3. tgfa). London: Pearson Education Limited. Hoen, T. (e.d.). CEOS address. Stt 10. mars 2010 af http://marel.com/resources/F iles/ir/2010/AGM-2010---CEOs-address.pdf

Jn r lafsson. (e.d.). A ra mannau 25 r. Stt 11. mars 2010 af http://www.si.is/med mal-og-fraedsla/Ad_troa_mannaud.pdf Logistics Management. (8. Mars 2010). Use of balanced scorecard in logistics. Stt 10. mars 2010 af http://www.logistics-management-kpi.com/ Marel. (e.d.). Stt 13. mars 2010 af cts/Training/ http://www.marel.com/Service/Service-Produ

Marel. (e.d.). Stt 13. mars 2010 af http://www.marel.com/company/About-Us/ Marel. (e.d.). Stt 13. mars 2010 af http://www.marel.com/company/brands/marel/ NPD group. (e.d.). Stt 9. Mars 2010 af http://npd.com/corpServlet?nextpage=profil e_s.html Supply Chain Metric.com (e.d.). Supply chain balanced scorecard. Stt 14. mars 201 0 af http://www.supplychainmetric.com/balance.htm

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[ 2 ]. Marel s organisatio chart