University of Twente Student Theses


Early involvement in product development : how to involve Inventi early in the new product development processes of its customers

Beek, Maarten H.J. van (2009) Early involvement in product development : how to involve Inventi early in the new product development processes of its customers.

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Abstract:The company Inventi is in charge of all kind of production orders for Nedap market groups. Inventi is responsible for its own performance. However, it has limited influence on its production process design and the selected components in the product designs. To get more influence on the product and production process designs, Inventi wishes to get earlier involved in the new product development processes of Nedap market groups. The involvement has to result in an increase of the product manufacturability, improvement of the production’s quality performance and advantages of using preferred components. A qualitative research has been executed in order to give an advice. In the first place, literature has been explored to get a better understanding of the concepts of ‘new product development’ and ‘early supplier involvement’. These insights have been used to investigate the possible involvement of Inventi in the product development projects of market groups. The new product development process has been divided into five steps: functional specifications, basic design, detailed engineering, production process design and start of production/ramp-up. During these development steps, Inventi can perform tasks. Furthermore, Inventi can provide resources, which are needed in development tasks. Moreover, the responsibilities of the development project can be distributed. The three dimensions of early supplier involvement are tasks, resources and responsibilities. In the second place, the market groups’ preferences have been collected. In order to investigate the wished involvement of Inventi among the market groups, three market groups have been selected. Agri, Energy Systems and Retail Support are good representatives of all market groups. These have been selected based on kind of products, organization of the market group and the current relationship with Inventi. Employees related to purchasing, engineering and market group management have been interviewed within each market group. A total number of eleven interviews have been conducted. In the third place, Inventi’s expectations regarding its involvement have been researched. Four employees of different functions have been interviewed. The three dimensions of supplier involvement took up the central position in the interviews. The market groups’ demand for Inventi’s contributions is mainly related to component selection, design for manufacturability and test development. Inventi has to consult market groups in their development projects and has to provide its preferences. Inventi’s wished integration in the market groups’ project teams will not be supported by the market groups. However, several instruments will be available for Inventi to get the intended influence in product design and component selection. Inventi will be involved on market groups demand. This results in a more informal way of cooperation, which is called the direct ad hoc contact approach. Inventi has to perform the following tasks: (1) developing print layouts, (2) making prototypes and providing related feedback, (3) being involved in or performing test equipment development, (4) developing the (PCB) production process design and (5) performing a check before the start of production to control the results of previous NPD steps. Moreover, Inventi has to allocate the following resources: (1) a preferred component manufacturer and distributor list, (2) a guideline with Inventi’s design preferences with regard to the manufacturability of the products and (3) tools for test strategy determination. IV INVOLVEMENT IN NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT In the last place, Inventi can form a technology-expert-team. It has to organize seminars or meetings to communicate technology, design for manufacturability and testing related knowledge. This knowledge can be transferred in between product development projects. The knowledge can be used in the early stages of product development processes. Furthermore, this two-way communication will support Inventi in developing its future strategy. The responsibilities of the new product development processes have to be distributed. In general, the market groups will maintain their responsibilities for the product design. This includes the functional specification, the basic design and the detailed engineering steps. Inventi will be responsible for the production process. This consists of the elaboration of the production process design and the start of production/ramp-up step. To a great extent, the realization of the above mentioned aspects will result in Inventi’s wished influence in the market groups product development processes. In the future, more involvement might be possible. Good performance of Inventi will increase market groups’ confidence in Inventi’s capabilities. More confidence in Inventi’s can convince market groups to involve Inventi for other development tasks, design for manufacturing analyses in the early stages of new product development.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Inventi B.V.
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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