ارتباط با تامین کنندگان در توسعه محصول : بینش های مدیران R & D و مدیران پروژه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2701||2006||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 35, Issue 8, November 2006, Pages 936–943
While there is increasing evidence that involving suppliers in new product development (NPD) is important, and for many firms even inevitable, there is also evidence that not all such efforts are successful. Firms aiming at implementing this strategy effectively have to pay close attention to several contingency factors on the organizational level and properly manage supplier involvement on the project level. The exploratory case study research underlying this article explores key issues to be considered when involving suppliers in NPD and the counter measures they can take. Our research shows that companies differentiate between so-called “know-how” and “capacity” projects, and that they manage them differently. Furthermore, this research shows that firms outside the automotive and high-tech manufacturing industries are likely to intensify supplier involvement in the future.
In recent years, firms in many industries have increasingly extended their new product development (NPD) activities across organizational boundaries and outsourced innovation (Engardino and Einhorn, 2005 and Quinn, 2000). For Airbus Industries, for example, there has been no alternative to integrating company resources with the resources of their major suppliers during the development of the A380 “Superjumbo”, which is due to enter service in 2006. The pressing need to achieve target performances, quality characteristics, and target prices for all systems, subsystems, and airframe items of an aircraft are major drivers for the involvement of suppliers. Significant development responsibility for the new aircraft is transferred to Easton for hydraulic systems, Honeywell for avionics, or United Technologies for auxiliary power units and air-generation systems, for example. As a result, Airbus involves the suppliers in early stages of product development. This includes research on concepts, technologies and innovative solutions in the definition phase of systems, subsystems, and airframe items and the definition of common objectives (technical and commercial). Furthermore, early on in the product development process the suppliers are expected to accept responsibility for development, design, integration, manufacture, qualification, delivery, target performances, and quality for their particular systems, subsystems, or airframe items on the basis of frame specifications and target prices. Most importantly, early joint development in integrated teams ensures that agreed target prices, including recurring and non-recurring cost, customer induced changes, all required changes necessary for aircraft certification or weight and product support guarantees, and so forth, are achieved in the end. The other maker of big jetliners, Boeing, follows a comparable approach for the development of its 787 “Dreamliner”, which is expected to enter service in 2008. Similar and possibly even more advanced transformations in NPD have forced firms in the automotive industry towards utilization of technologies that lie outside of their firm boundaries. Automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have formed partnerships with suppliers to take advantage of their technological expertise in development, design, and manufacturing. Accordingly, these firms continue to integrate suppliers earlier in their product development projects and to a greater extent. An analysis of the pertinent literature on supplier involvement in NPD reveals three reasons why this current study was carried out. First, and most importantly, studies show mixed results of supplier involvement in NPD. This recommends further exploration of problems firms are facing in corporate practice when involving suppliers in NPD and how they try to deal with them. Second, large high-tech manufacturing firms and firms from the automotive industry comprised the predominant empirical setting in most studies. The dominance of these firms in their supply chains, their size and channel power may not be representative. Although we recognize that learning from “best practice” may benefit firms in other industries as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and firms with a lesser channel power, conducting a study in this realm would give a more realistic picture of the problems related to supplier involvement that these firms encounter. Third, the awareness that supplier involvement needs to be managed properly on the organizational and the project level has only recently emerged. The purpose of the remainder of this article is to explore and highlight key issues of supplier involvement in the customer firm's NPD based on a variety of exploratory case studies from industries other than automotive and high-tech manufacturing. The following Section 2 provides a theoretical background of the strategy to involve suppliers in NPD. In Section 3, the method used to collect the qualitative data for this study is described. Section 4 presents the results of our analysis. Finally, the article closes with concluding comments (Section 5) for corporate practice and management research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Supplier involvement in product development continues to pose challenges, both long-term at the organizational level as well as in individual projects. As we pointed out, involving suppliers early in NPD processes may make sense strategically, given the supplier's specific expertise and resources, for instance. However, it may yet prove highly difficult to capitalize on such ‘strategic benefits’ in individual projects. This article reports on exploratory and descriptive case studies with five companies where we conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 R&D directors and 12 project managers. The aim was to better understand the main drivers for supplier involvement now and in the future, as well as the main issues that companies wrestle with both at the organizational level as well as at the project level. In sum, the interviews suggest that supplier involvement is going to increase also in industries other than automotive and high tech (which have thus far been the focus of inquiries regarding supplier involvement). This, by extension, underlines the potential attributed to supplier involvement as a source of sustainable competitive advantage (Dyer and Singh, 1998 and Johnson, 1999). By the same token, however, our data clearly highlights that companies are (still) left with clear reservations regarding loss of proprietary information (at the organizational level) and difficulties managing NPD teams with supplier involvement (at the project level). As such, our study emphasizes the critical importance of continued research in tackling these issues. Specifically, questions such as “How do we achieve good collaboration in NPD projects with supplier members?” as well as “How can we capitalize on supplier competencies even in areas of sensitive technologies?” are clearly of high relevance today and in the near future. As business market managers not only need to possess a good understanding of their customer firms' requirements but also of their purchase decision processes and how customer firms evaluate and work with their company as a supplier (Anderson & Narus, 2003), this research provides some important implications for marketing managers. This study shows that customer firms increasingly extend the NPD process across firm boundaries and integrate suppliers. Customers strive for accessing their supplier's competence at an early stage and integrate this knowledge in their own products. Therefore, “marketing and selling” a product is not sufficient for creating value for the customer. Successful firms will extend their marketing capabilities, i.e., the capability of identifying customer needs and understanding the factors that influence customer choice behavior, towards collaborative NPD and further integrate marketing capabilities with their own R&D capabilities (Quinn, 2000). High quality buyer–supplier collaboration in NPD can only be achieved if the supplier firm is open and prepared to face the challenges laid out in this article. Supplier firms prepared to support the key issues on the organizational as well as the project level and to manage them collaboratively with the customer firm will enhance customer value and will be more successful in the long run. In sum, this research sheds more light on collaborative product development and provides recommendations that can benefit both managers from the buying as well as the customer firm.