Examining the Possibilities of Identifying and Modeling Correlations between Product Families and Business Processes
In order for companies to make well founded decisions on the product family makeup, an understanding of the correlation between the complexity of the product family and business processes is required, though it is often not available. This paper investigates the potential of using the Product Variant Master (PVM) modeling technique and Process Flow Charts in combination, to analyze the correlation between complexity in product families and business processes. The approach is based on a visual modeling of the product assortment and the business processes. It is hypothesized that the combined use of the modeling techniques can allow for analysis and communication of the product family and business processes; as well as the connections between the two, with the potential of creating a single combined model. A case from a Danish industrial company is used for the purpose of the investigation. The case shows that it is possible to identify correlations between product complexity and the induced effects in the business processes through the use of product Variant Master and Flow Chart models. Examples are given, and conclusions are drawn concerning the possible usefulness of combining PVM and process flow charts for the purpose of identification and visualization of correlations.