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Involving suppliers in product development in the United States and Japan: evidence for set-based concurrent engineering

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4 Author(s)
J. K. Liker ; Ind. & Oper. Eng., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; D. K. Sobek ; A. C. Ward ; J. J. Cristiano

Concurrent engineering (CE) involves a widely recognized revolution in the social organization of product development and a corresponding revolution in the underlying paradigm of design. We distinguish between two paradigms-point-based design and set-based design-and argue that effective, truly concurrent design requires shifting to a paradigm where design team members reason and communicate about sets of designs which we call “set-based concurrent engineering”. A survey of 92 Japanese and 119 US automotive parts suppliers who design their own products sought to quantify the pervasiveness and correlates of “set-based approaches”. The survey evidence indicates that set-based design communication is more prevalent among Japanese than among US parts suppliers, and is correlated with certain product development characteristics including years of experience with early involvement of suppliers in design, the degree of product-process design overlap, the degree to which subsystems are interdependent, and the use of quality function deployment (QFD)

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 2 )