Collaborative Product Development: How to Make the "Buy Design" Decision?

DS 58-3: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 3, Design Organization and Management, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Le Dain, Marie-Anne; Calvi, Richard; Cheriti, Sandra
Section: Design Organization and Management
Page(s): 73-84


This article focuses on the design or buy design decision process and aims at proposing a structured approach enabling to support the decision-making within a new product development (NPD) project team by using a action research approach. The tool associated to this approach mobilizes the Supplier Involvement Matrix in order to identify the different situations of supplier involvement and is based on two dimensions: (1) the supplier's autonomy level in product development and (2) the development risk linked to the outsourced item. In this matrix, five types of customer/supplier involvement in collaborative NPD projects are distinguished. The usefulness of our tool is illustrated on a detailed case study: the collaborative development of a shorting connector between a Schneider Electric NPD team and a supplier. Several managerial implications and lessons learnt have been identified following this case study. First, this tool provides an operational measure of the development risk associated to a buy design decision and a clear and formal identification of the project needs. Secondly, its use may facilitate the coordination between product design engineers and purchasing agents.

Keywords: New Product Development (NPD), Early Supplier Involvement (ESI), Design or Buy Design decision-making, Case study approach


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