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Defining common S and OP processes - inventory management case by NKT Cables

NKT Cables

Project description

Company description 

NKT Cables is a global front-line supplier to the energy sector. With approximately 3200 employees and an annual turnover of around 1.1 billion Euros in 2014 we develop manufacture and market high quality cables and solutions for electrical infrastructure the construction field and in the railway and automotive industries. NKT Cables is owned by NKT Holding A/S which is listed on the Danish Stock Exchange and owns other companies like Nilfisk and Photonics Group.

Supply Chain Management is a relatively new function of Business Line (BL) Nordics within NKT Cables and is currently implementing new processes and ways-of-working in order to handle sales forecast production planning and inventory management.  BL Nordics is an all functional unit which includes Sales Product Management/Development Operations/Production Warehousing and Logistics and consists of three plants - Asnæs (DK) Drammen (NO) and Falun (SE). BL Nordics Management Team consists of one member from Asnaes and one from Falun - both will be assisting you throughout this project.

The Head of Supply Chain Management is part of the BL Nordics management team and supply chain resources are located in Asnæs and Falun. Supply Chain resources from Asnæs and from Falun will be assisting you throughout this project.

Problem description 

There is a large focus on inventory management within nkt Cables. Traditionally this is an area that have not been so given much focus and therefore the inventory levels are currently  not close to be “best-in-class” which is the ambition long term. There is also a significant challenge in reaching “best-in-class” inventory levels due to characteristics of the business in BL Nordics where a large number of raw materials a large number of products made to stock (MTS) and seasonality aspects must be taken into consideration. 

A common Sales and Operations (S&OP) process has been launched within BL Nordics but needs to be developed and matured to fulfill the expectations of reaching the long term inventory levels.

Research objectives 

As a part of the introducing the S&OP process we are introducing a number of new tools. One of these tools is the ABC tool (commercial tool available on the market since long time) which helps us analyze our inventory. The ABC tool is implemented in Asnæs (only used as sales analysis tool – not currently used for inventory management) since a couple of years back while it is currently being implemented in Sweden. 

The tool will enable us to take certain decisions based on what type of inventory analysis is being performed for instance:


  • Movement between inventory categories (high runner; slow mover)
    • What actions should be taken when a product change category
  • Dead stock analysis (raw material; finished goods)
    • Continuously identify obsolete material to be scrapped.
  • Product phase-in phase-out and product substitution
    • Balance inventory levels during a phase-in phase-out process.
  • Product profitability analysis
    • Which products are meeting profit requirements?
  • Safety stock calculationo
    • How to optimize safety stock levels continuously (seasonality).


Therefore the key objectives with this assignment are to:


  • Define a set of standard analysis to be done on regular (weekly monthly quarterly) basis for the different involved organizations within BL Nordics
  • Define a set of actions to be performed based on the outcome of the defined analysis (e.g. scrap product change safety stock phase-out products etc)
  • Document the process and implement the activities as part of the S&OP process within BL Nordics (templates exist for the documentation part).


A successful project will enable BL Nordics to reduce the inventory levels continuously using the a) defined ABC tool analysis b) actions identified and documented during the project.


For this project we seek 1 or 2 Master Thesis students within Supply Chain Management Operations Management Engineering Management Logistics and similar studies from leading universities in Denmark and Sweden. We will help you to meet academic requirements to get the top grade by providing required data and adjusting to your research question for this project (as long as the key objectives are met). Besides you will receive a direct supervision from our Managers.

The interaction with nkt Cables will be done on-site in Asnæs using video conferencing facilities in Bröndby (nkt office) telephone conferences with lync type solution and home studies.

Preferable students are to be located in Asnæs as much as possible (transport from Copenhagen can be organized by nkt Cables) but the other alternatives are also possible depending on student situation. The selected students will be reimbursed with DKK 5000 on a monthly basis during the project.

Please apply below with your proposal and potential research question(s) while for other questions please contact Kristupas Saikus at 50280069