With the Scania vehicle population growing, it is becoming more and more important to boost the capacity of the sales and service organisation. One element of this is Scania’s continuous improvement efforts.
Scania’s efforts to bring about continuous improvements in its production network have attracted great attention outside the company. Many Swedish manufacturing firms, but also service sector companies, local governments and organisations have visited the workshop floor in Södertälje to let their representatives be inspired by the philosophy known as the Scania Production System (SPS).
Internally, Scania has begun implementing the same structured way of working at its 1,600 service points around the world. The resulting Scania Retail System (SRS) is aimed at improving customer benefit and satisfaction by boosting efficiency in the service organisation.
The Scania dealership at Kungens Kurva in Huddinge, strategically located on the E4/E20 European highway just south of Stockholm, is one of the service points that have begun to implement this change. After only a year or so, the results are encouraging.
“We have gained a much better overview of our work situation. As a result, we are less stressed and find ourselves in crisis mode less often,” says Camilla Dewoon, Stockholm regional manager of Scania-Bilar.
Her region has 270 employees and 12 service points in Greater Stockholm, from Norrtälje in the north and Enköping in the west to Södertälje in the south.
SRS efforts permeate all operations. One example of improvements is opening up the workshop environment so that work processes flow better. For instance, while performing one particular type of service, studies showed that a technician walks 3.5 kilometres and climbs down into the lube pit 14 times. Moving the most frequently used tools and parts closer improves the service technician’s working environment while freeing up more billable hours.
Another example: When Scania Value visits Kungens Kurva, Inga Kodu and Johan Höjer of the sales department are busy reviewing the delivery plan for new vehicles. They can easily track where in the chain between order placement and final delivery each vehicle is.
“By using a board where everyone can see and act on any disruptions in the flow, in the space of one year we have shortened lead times for how long a completed vehicle is parked on our premises from seven to four days. We also clearly see if the dealerships in our region need to help each other out to meet delivery deadlines,” says Dewoon. “Shortening lead times at all levels improves capital efficiency in our company.”
The most important element of SRS is employee participation.
“Everyone should feel they can question ingrained working methods and that they enjoy both confidence and responsibility at their workplace. In this way, employees become active participants in our improvement efforts – and managers become coaches instead of someone who just issues orders,” Dewoon concludes.
Same philosophy as at production units
- The Scania Retail System (SRS) rests on the same philosophy as the Scania Production System.
- SRS is based on all employees assuming responsibility for identifying faults or deviations that can be remedied.
- Communication is vital: many departments hold brief daily meetings. SRS also encourages dialogue between occupational groups.
- One basic concept is to “industrialise processes” by viewing operations as flows, identifying whether waste of time and resources can be eliminated at any stage.
- In recent years, Scania has had a corporate SRS Office that backs up the various markets in their SRS efforts. From a number of “role model” facilities in Europe and South America, the new working method will spread throughout the service network, including independent dealerships.
Read more in the shareholder magazine Scania Value.