Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Industrial Engineering

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering, PhD

Committee Chair

Depuy, Gail W.


Business logistics; Industrial efficiency; Industrial management


Supply chains of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) industry are complex and with many constraints. Since the SPV industry is a special field of operation, there is no classical supply chain strategy which is appropriate. It is possible to apply concepts of industries with similar requirements but there is a high loss of time and money because these classical concepts do not fit to the SPV industry. Even strategies of the conventional automobile industry cannot be transferred. Therefore, there is the need to develop a supply chain concept for companies of the SPV industry. As a first step, basic knowledge about supply chain management is provided. Based on this, special supply chain characteristics of the SPV industry are analyzed in detail. A profound research shows that the focus of the developed supply chain should be on flexibility. High supply chain flexibility addresses the specific difficulties related to the SPV industry. These are for example individual customer requirements and uncertain demand. Therefore appropriate flexibility methods are derived which are called variant, volume and time flexibility. For the implementation, several formulas and strategies are derived. This supply chain concept is a basic concept. It can be adapted to the environment of different SPV companies. For the application of the derived formulas, MATLAB codes are provided. These MATLAB scripts and functions are also used for a performance evaluation. Therefore, economic parameters, which are same important for all companies, are used. Thus, all improvements and strategies in this research are evaluated mathematically. A performance evaluation with realistic input values shows that the following savings are expected for the three flexibility types: · volume flexibility: 47% · variant flexibility: 42% · time flexibility: 42% A comprehensive example with all the flexibility types shows that overall savings of about 18% can be realized. This comprehensive example includes further new approaches like an asymmetrical flexibility and a method to order the optimal quantity at the posterior point of time which is explained and introduced. The savings due to the individual flexibility types, which are mentioned above, are related to costs and thus very high at first glance. Furthermore, these results depend on input variables, which reflect realistic examples. Thus, these values can be different in other example. They are however appropriate indicators to show that the new supply chain strategy for the SPV industry is profitable, reliable, stable and flexible. Thus, the new approach is a research contribution, which leads to clear benefits in reality.