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An investigation into the constraints limiting maintenance strategy effectiveness in the automotive supply chain.

Dixon, Derek (2021) An investigation into the constraints limiting maintenance strategy effectiveness in the automotive supply chain. Post-Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Post-Doctoral)


The automotive manufacturing industry offers a substantial contribution to the UK economy. 856,000 personnel were employed in this sector in 2019. Although this contribution remains significant, production and trade difficulties have emerged due to socio-economic changes. As a result, operating with an efficient business model gains further prominence. Preliminary research revealed that regional Tier One suppliers to International OEM’s were experiencing difficulties emulating the lean operating model of the OEM. This was exemplified by poorly performing maintenance plans. Symptoms included inaccurate performance metrics and inadequate asset management. As a result, the business would mitigate the risk of the maintenance strategy failing, by holding excessive buffer stock.
Rich data was gathered through case study work with four Tier One suppliers. Once synthesised, the data presented a series of constraints which prevented maintenance effectiveness in the automotive supply chain. These included; Maintenance planning; Equipment management and Data collection. Moreover, the consequences of cultural differences and poor working relationships became apparent. Therefore, a Gap Analysis tool was developed to identify specific issues within a functioning maintenance plan. The tool was tested in three automotive manufacturing sites and the results presented varying gaps in practice. Commonly, data management and performance indicators are neglected. Furthermore, the disregard for spare part management is causing an extensive financial burden to some partners. Also, the test revealed no clear understanding of the importance of the human element and the consequences of a poorly perceived maintenance department. These perceptions can be influenced by artefacts signalling maintenance values and working practices. These include performance displays; operating standards and housekeeping issues.
This research is a contribution to literature in maintenance strategy development in the automotive supply chain. This includes identifying characteristics which influence working relationships and the human element. A novel contribution is provided through the Gap Analysis Tool which measures the status of a maintenance strategy and the presence of influential artefacts. The tool provides results which can be used to develop and improve a maintenance function.

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Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 13622

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ORCID for Derek Dixon: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 13:28
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 13:30


Author: Derek Dixon ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Kenneth Robson
Thesis advisor: David Baglee

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