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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2683||2006||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Volume 12, Issue 5, September 2006, Pages 246–257
Early supplier involvement and integration is important in product development on strategic as well as on operational, project and team levels. Saab Aerospace intended to achieve early supplier involvement and high level of integration on all levels in the redesign of the aircraft JAS 39 Gripen. The research underlying this article shows that the intended strategy was only achieved on the strategic level and not on the operational project and team levels. One major reason for this was that the design of the work breakdown structure (WBS) and work packages (WP) in the product development followed the functional and departmental logic within each company resulting in incompatible structures and preventing communication and information exchange. This article intends to explore how prevailing functionally designed WBS and WP structures created barriers and to demonstrate how supplier integration can be improved by designing collaborative WBS and integrated WP. The Dependence Structure Matrix (DSM) is introduced in order to analyze, visualize and manage interdependencies and information exchange between Saab Aerospace and its supplier on different levels of the WBS and in different phases of the development process, following the logic of interdependencies and information flow, in order to support a strategy focusing on integration of suppliers on the project and team level.
One major reason for the success of Japanese companies in general is their competence in collaborating with suppliers. The Japanese lean production system uses a small number of suppliers (Womack et al., 1990; Womack and Jones, 1994), who have responsibility for larger modules, are involved in the product development work more intensively, at an earlier stage and continues through the product life-cycle. The Japanese way of working with suppliers requires a high level of integration between the supplier and the systems integrator (Lamming, 1993). Some empirical evidence suggests that Japanese suppliers perform four times more engineering work for a specific project than US suppliers, while Europeans are somewhere in between (Clark and Fujimoto, 1991). For this reason, the potential benefits of strategic alliances with suppliers have received considerable attention (Bonaccorsi and Lipparini, 1994; Fruin, 1992; Lamming, 1989 and Lamming, 1987, Lyons et al., 1990; Quinn, 1992). The incorporation of suppliers into a firm's development process is considered a major key to a shorter development cycle and better products (Clark and Fujimoto, 1991; Backhouse and Brooks, 1996). In the aerospace industry many aircraft corporations manufacture only 20–40% of the components and systems in an aircraft themselves; suppliers are responsible for the rest. In the Swedish commercial aircrafts Saab 340, Saab 2000, and military aircraft JAS39 Gripen, approximately 80% of the total manufacturing costs are related to purchasing goods from suppliers (Börjesson et al., 1996; Danilovic, 1997 and Danilovic, 1999). Research by Weiss et al. (1996) indicates that the situation in the aerospace industry is similar to that in many other industries, requiring a high degree of supplier involvement in the development process based on long-term relations and early supplier involvement in design and development teams, joint risk identification and risk sharing, as well as joint target costing. Some results indicate progress in terms of: • Locating design-build teams at the customer's site reduced engineering changes by 50% and cycle time by 25%. • An enhanced cross-functional character of the workforce led to a decrease in the number of job descriptions for engineers from 103 to 30. • Integrated product teams, products, and process resulted in significant improvements in quality, cycle time, and change orders. The post release engineering charge rate decreased by 96%. • 50% less labour has been used to procure four times the number of parts, while maintaining high quality (Weiss et al., 1996). During the eighties, Boeing developed a wide-bodied jet aircraft, the Boeing 777, based on ideas of concurrent engineering, establishing 238 cross-functional teams to work on the development program. The suppliers were involved in the concurrent process. Boeing was the technical systems integrator and introduced concurrent engineering among its suppliers by applying pressure to the supply chain. However, researchers indicate that in practice this close systems integrator–supplier collaboration is less evident than what could be expected. Klein and Susman (1995) claim that [s]ince a large percentage of aircraft component parts are purchased, supplier involvement in the product development process is critical. But only 18 of the 63 teams (23%) include suppliers, either full- or part-time (Klein and Susman, 1995, p. 17). The finding from Klein and Susman (1995, p. 5) show that in the US aircraft industry, integrated product teams are used mostly in the engineering phase of the product development (58%), followed by demonstration and validation (13%), and pilot production (7%). This may be due to the long product development cycles. In this situation, it takes several years to achieve the mature stage of the development process. It is interesting to note that the initial phase of concept exploration, only 2% is conducted in cross-functional team settings! This empirical observation in the aerospace industry raises important questions. If we know that a suppliers’ involvement in the process of product development is important and if it leads to substantial positive outcomes, why is there a discrepancy between the arguments for increasing supplier involvement and the empirical observations indicating a low level of early involvement and supplier integration across many development phases from concept to production and sustain engineering? Further questions can be raised of how suppliers actually were involved in the development process in these teams indicating a low level of involvement. Were they only observers, guests, or did they work as full team members? We can also ask whether the division of work between suppliers and systems integrator was mutually beneficial or a contradiction, whether they had the same mission and goal in teams, and how workflow and organizational routines enhanced or obstructed the team-based work. 1.1. Supplier integration in the development of Saab 39 Gripen The Swedish aircraft manufacturing company Saab Aerospace AB has been developing military aircraft since 1937 and has provided the Swedish Air Force with many different aircraft. JAS39 Gripen is the first aircraft in the new fourth generation of military aircraft such as the French Rafale, the US F-22 and the European Eurofighter 2000. Approximately 3500 people are employed at Saab in the development and production of military aircraft. Notably, Saab Aerospace is one of the smallest manufacturers of high-tech military aircrafts in the world developing and producing one of the most advanced aircrafts. There are only 3–4 competitors on the world market. The characteristic of the Gripen is its capability to combine the roles of traditional fighter, attack, and reconnaissance aircraft. This combination of tasks creates great flexibility. To ensure flexibility and to accelerate field service, the JAS39 Gripen carries an auxiliary power unit (APU). This consists of a small jet engine turbine installed in the rear airframe, which produces air pressure for engine start, the electronics cooling system, and the emergency electrical and hydraulic power system. The complete system is named APESS–Auxiliary Power Engine Starting System. Initially, the Gripen was designed to carry an APU developed and manufactured by Microturbo in France. However, due to new environmental requirements established by the Swedish government, a new APU had to be developed. After a period of discussions between Saab, Microturbo in France, and Sundstrand in USA, a decision was made at Saab that a new APU should be bought from the US supplier, Sundstrand. Due to a very demanding time schedule, a concurrent engineering approach had to be adopted in the development project. The strategy of Saab was to move towards long-term oriented partnership collaboration on all corporate levels. On the strategic level Saab and the supplier agreed to work in an integrated way. Several measures to ensure integration with the supplier were taken. A special liaison engineer was located at the supplier for the whole timetable of the project, numerous meetings took place between people at Saab and at Sundstrand, especially among management, special facsimile lines were introduced to enhance secure communication, and mutual adjustment points were scheduled in order to evaluate the progress of the project. Several Saab engineers were sent over to the supplier to coordinate work and occasionally some engineers from the supplier spent time at Saab. However, on the operational, engineering level the desired integration was not established. The contractual forms between Saab and Sundstrand created a necessary basis for early involvement and integration of suppliers. Everybody wanted this. Top-level managers, as well as project managers and engineers on different levels, at Saab and at the supplying company wanted it. The detailed product specifications clearly stated what the supplier was expected to deliver. Despite that, lack of communication about specifications, and the end-customer's usage of the aircraft increased uncertainty and ambiguity. Interestingly, Saab and Sundstrand used cross-functional teams at both locations, in Sweden and in USA, but none of these teams were inter-organizationally integrated, in cross-functional teams. The level of integration in the operational level in the product development work was high within each company's different functions, and at the same time low between the companies. This situation created the basis for the lack of communication and information exchange between people in the development of the new APESS. To understand why engineers at Saab and at Sundstrand did not collaborate and communicate with each other as expected on the operational level we must explore some important issues and prerequisites for engineering work. In order to perform product development in integrated settings the engineering work has to be prepared for and planned for being performed in cross-functional team. This is done by designing actions of engineers and components of the product architecture in suitable work packages (WP) that can be handled by teams in periods of 8–14 weeks. The analysis of the development work of the two seated JAS 39 Gripen shows that structural aspects of product development, the design of the product architecture and development process, i.e. the design of the work breakdown structure (WBS) and work packages (WP), was one of the key elements to collaboration and communication between departments at Saab. The successful development of the two seated JAS 39 Gripen was designed and carried out in more than 400 integrated work packages (Danilovic, 1997 and Danilovic, 1999). However, when his analysis was extended and focused on the early involvement and integration of suppliers in the APESS project the design of WBS and WP shoved to be the barrier to supplier integration as they were done following the departmental logic at Saab and at Sundstrand. The hypothesis underlying this article is that the design of the work breakdown structure (WBS) and work packages (WP) are important issues in understanding why suppliers were not involved in product development as expected and crucial if one desires high level of integration to take place. 1.2. The aim and the outline of this article The main focus in this article is to identify barriers to supply integration and to develop an approach to enable early supplier involvement and integration in product development on the operational, engineering work level in cross-functional teams. The purpose of this article is to investigate the impact of the work breakdown structure (WBS) and work packages (WP) in product development on the possibilities to carry through a strategy of supplier involvement into collaborative practice and to investigate how supplier involvement can be improved by the design of collaborative WBS and WP structures. In this article I intend to show how an alternative WBS and WP design that enables high level of supplier integration on the engineering level and in different phases of the product development. After a brief literature review as the introduction to the issue, some aspects of supplier involvement and integration within the aerospace industry are described. Particularly the specific issues of the design of work break down (WBS) and work package (WP) are elaborated. To strengthen the analysis of the empirical material and as the introduction to suggested methodological approach, relevant theoretical literature is presented in the area of managing complex systems. Finally, in order to elaborate on the design of the WBS and WPs a new methodological approach is introduced, Dependence Structure Matrix (DSM). This approach is applied in one empirical case, on different WBS levels and in different development phases.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Although both corporations, Saab Aerospace and Sundstrand, have developed a mutual strategy stressing early supplier involvement and integration, it was not achieved on the operational levels due to the fact that structural prerequisites on the project and team level did not support the overall business strategy. The logic in the design of the work breakdown structure (WBS) and work packages (WPs) was traditionally designed on a functional basis reflecting the prevailing organization and did not support the strategy. The consequence was low transparency, low situational visibility, lack of communication, lack of integrated tasks and activities, and weak understanding of what the process of product development means to engineers within and between corporations. To achieve the strategy of a high level of supplier integration on project and team levels, alternative logic has to be adopted focusing on interdependencies and information flow between people in both companies. Dependence structure matrix (DSM) methodology is introduced to elaborate and to design collaborative WBS and integrative WPs. DSM analysis showed that collaborative WBS and integrated WPs could be developed in five different product development phases, creating prerequisites for intra-corporate integration of functions within Saab Aerospace and inter-organizational integration with Sundstrand. Such integrative WPs can support the strategy of supplier integration in project and cross-functional teams. The DSM analysis shows also that no matter how integrated WPs are designed there will always be interfaces that need to be handled. Therefore coordination team structure, linking pins, might be applied to handle interfaces between integrated WPs. Integrated WPs enables that communication, and the information exchange, mutual understanding is obtained on the individual level in both companies. The outcome is increased transparency and situational visibility. DSM creates an arena for communication between technical disciplines, between management and engineers, systems integrator and suppliers, which is otherwise missing. DSM enables communication through handshaking and by formalizing informal communication and information exchange. DSM provides feedback mechanisms when discussing the past, present, and future. This feedback provides information on and knowledge of past projects and experiences, problems and lessons, goal-seeking information on the project, its milestones, and consequences for engineers, systems, and engineering teams and corporations, economic restrictions, the consequences and interpretations of technical specifications and requirements, etc. 4.1. Implications for managers If management has a strategy to achieve early supplier involvement and integration the WBS and WP has to be redesigned from the very beginning of the development process, i.e. projects, in order to design integrative WP. Therefore, DSM approach has to be used very early in this process. As the product development is a dynamic process, DSM approach has to be used at different occasions and situations. To enable early adaptation of DSM approach top level managers have to be committed to such approach, creating an arena where such methodology is used, is accepted, and approved by top management. In addition, the outcome of such analysis indicates how the old structures need to be changed in order to create prerequisites for supplier integration. Management has to be committed to carry through the strategy in the design of WBS and WP. If not, the strategy will remain to be a strategy while engineering practice will be very different. This approach to DSM focuses on important managerial aspects of creating prerequisites for handling the uncertainty, the unpredictable factors, which always characterize complex product development. Management and engineers needs to find an opportunity to analyze a project according to its mission, goals, and restrictions. When these aspects are discussed, management and engineers can mutually shape an appropriate strategy for conducting tasks based on a common understanding and acceptance of conditions for the project. This process is labelled by Westley (1990) as strategic conversation and micro dynamics of inclusion. In addition, management and engineers can together design appropriate structures and processes. The subjectivity in the actor approach becomes a line of action (Garnsey, 1992). 4.2. Limitations of chosen approach The DSM approach used in this research gives a static picture of interdependencies and the need for information exchange at the time of the investigation. DSM approach has to be used as a flexible approach, repeated as interdependencies changes over time as the product development is a dynamic process. DSM should not be used as a static approach but an approach that reflects the dynamics. In order to support practitioners practical tools need to be developed that helps practitioners to do DSM studies in a simple way. In my research I have developed such software tool that was used in this article. 4.3. Future research Managing product development means that several aspects of complexity and uncertainty have to be handled simultaneously. The supplier integration in integrative organizational settings, process design enabling early involvement, and supplier integration in a modular product architecture stress that all domains have to be designed in a way to support each other. Integration of suppliers requires that all those domains have to be considered and managed. This article put focus on the impact of the design of WBS and WP in the product architectural domain. It is therefore important that approaches and tools that can support the dynamics of product development were focus is on the glue, i.e. the flow of information within and between those domains reflecting the dynamics of the product development process.