Cost-reduction of complaints regarding distribution: a case study at Iggesund Paperboard

This report is the result of the course IET101, master thesis in Industrial Management and Engineering.

During autumn and winter 2005 the author of this thesis has conducted a research at Iggesund Paperboard. Iggesund Paperboard is one of five business areas within the Holmen Group. Iggesund Paperboard produces and sells solid bleached board and folding box board. The company has customers spread across a large geographical area and produces a great amount of paperboard, therefore an extensive distribution system is needed. The distribution is made by vessels, trains and trucks to terminals and distribution centres before finally being delivered to customers. During distribution, transport damages occur. These damages correspond to an annual cost of distribution related complaints of approximately 2.5 MSEK. These complaints lead to the purpose of the thesis; to examine the cost of complaints and the complaint management system at Iggesund paperboard and furthermore to give recommendations to reduce these costs and guidelines how to improve the complaint management.

To fulfil the purpose of the thesis a literature study and a collection of empirical data from the company has been accomplished. The empirical data consists of primary data, gathered through interviews with personnel at different levels at the company. The study also includes secondary data from databases and annual reports from Iggesund Paperboard.

The analysis of the research show both benefits and disadvantage with the current Complaint Management System. The benefits consist of the prerequisites for a well functional Complaint Management System exists, with a well functioning organization which has awareness of the importance of Customer Service. Further, work is done continuously to improve the supply chain regarding distribution damages. The disadvantages are threefold; first and most important is that the traceability of where the damage of the product has taken place is low. Second, guidelines of how to work with failure products to prevent future damages for Technical Service Managers at Iggesund Paperboard, customers and third party distribution providers are missing. Third, today’s complaint software system does not encourage the user to exercise aggregate analysis of complaints so they can find places where improvements can be made to prevent distribution damages.

Author: Holmquist, Daniel

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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