نقش تامین کننده در توسعه محصول جدید در صنعت مواد غذایی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 34, Issue 7, October 2005, Pages 681–694
Purchasing and supplier involvement as one possible explanatory factor of product development success has been gathering growing attention from both managers and researchers. This paper presents the results of a Dutch benchmark study into supplier involvement in product development, and discusses the topic more specifically in the context of the food industry. Regarding supplier involvement, this industry has not been studied intensively, although its specific characteristics make continuous development of new products imperative and the amount of outsourcing of production and development has increased substantially. The benchmark was conducted by means of an existing framework which has not yet been applied to the food industry. The food company in the benchmark study performs consistently better than companies from other industries. At the same time, the results of a similar case study carried out at a Scandinavian food company show contradictory results. By comparing the Dutch and the Scandinavian case, we illustrate that our analytical framework can explain these different results in terms of the underlying processes and pre-conditions, thereby validating its application to the food industry.
In an ever-increasing competitive environment, suppliers can contribute to product development in several ways. Involving suppliers in product development is supposed to have a positive effect on development time, development and product cost and product quality (McGinnis & Vallopra, 1999 and Ragatz et al., 2002). However, this turns out not to be true for all situations (Birou, 1994 and Hartley et al., 1997). Therefore, some authors argue that the way supplier involvement in product development is managed is crucial in explaining the amount of success of this involvement (Clark, 1989, Ragatz et al., 1997 and Wynstra, 1998). At the same time, literature in the area of product innovation as well as supplier involvement demonstrates that researchers increasingly adopt thoughts from contingency theory to address the topic (Souder, Sherman, & Davies-Cooper, 1998). Contingency theory tries to understand and explain phenomena and organizational issues from a situational point of view. Applying this to the topic of supplier involvement in new product development, this means that determining the way suppliers should be involved in product development requires an analysis of the specific contextual factors at hand. For example, one of the contingencies studied in the literature on supplier involvement in product development regards the degree of innovativeness—or the technological and market uncertainty—of the overall new product development project. Eisenhardt and Tabrizi (1995), for example, found that supplier involvement accelerated product development time, but only in mature market segments and when the product development effort was well defined. Ragatz et al. (2002) finds evidence that increased technological uncertainty has a negative impact on cost results, but this effect is partly mediated through the use of effective integrative strategies. In other words, higher degrees of technological uncertainty increase the need for project-related supplier management activities. In line with this reasoning, a contingency-based framework for analyzing processes related to purchasing and supplier involvement in product development has been developed in prior research (Van Echtelt et al., 2004 and Wynstra et al., 1999). This framework posits that in order to be successful, the involvement of suppliers needs to be embedded in the wider context of bringing a purchasing perspective to the development process. Such a perspective looks at the availability and suitability of external resources (i.e., the knowledge and skills of suppliers) for integration in the development process under conditions of timely availability and appropriate or optimal costs and quality of the input items (parts, materials etc.) embodying those resources. This integration of purchasing and product development processes and considerations is sometimes referred to as Integrated Product Development and Sourcing (IPDS) (Van Echtelt et al., 2004 and Wynstra et al., 2001). Traditionally, most research on supplier involvement in product development has been situated in large-scale assembly industries, like the electronics and automotive sectors. Little is known about supplier involvement in the food industry. Yet, this industry has increasingly been relying on suppliers for carrying out production and development activities. Hence, it would be interesting to investigate to what extent an analysis framework for studying supplier involvement—which originally is mainly based on research in assembly industries—would also hold for the food industry, and whether there are any particular features and challenges in managing supplier involvement in this sector. The results of such a study would help in further strengthening the external validity of the analysis framework. In the remainder of this paper, we first discuss some specific characteristics of the food industry and its product development process, after which the analysis framework is presented in more detail. Subsequently, we discuss the results of a Dutch benchmark study where we compared eight different development projects from four different manufacturing companies, one of which is from the food industry. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the two Dutch food development projects and a comparison with two projects at a Scandinavian food company. The paper ends with a discussion of the conclusions and implications, specifically focusing on the applicability of our analytical framework to supplier involvement in product development in the food industry.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The case studies and their analyses demonstrate that the previously developed IPDS framework can usefully be applied for describing, analyzing and partly explaining failures and successes in product development in various industries; also in the food industry. Our studies find that both strategic and operational processes have an impact on development results. We also find that enablers at the business unit and project level have an impact on the possibilities of effectively and efficiently carrying out these processes. Finally, the case studies support the notion that strategic driving factors, such as company size, have an impact on the required form and extent of the strategic and operational management processes. The case studies provide little support, however, for the received notion that the degree of project innovation has an impact on the necessary intensity of supplier management. This issue seems to require further research. There is a tendency among food companies to outsource the development of products as a whole to one contractor (co-packer), which subcontracts other parties when necessary. This may be compared to the use of Electronic Manufacturing Service contractors in the electronics industry. One could question whether food companies have to manage suppliers differently in order to be successful. The results of the case studies so far demonstrate that food companies go through the same cycle, as do companies in other industries. In this study, particularly the food development projects of FPC scored very well. Often, product development in the food industry is thought to be less complex, since the final product is often less complex in terms of the number of ‘building blocks', as a result of which the number of suppliers is relatively small. The contribution of the individual suppliers and the coordination of these suppliers are therefore less substantial in the food than in the traditional manufacturing industry. However, this does not mean that product development in the food industry is easier than in other industries. From the case studies we can conclude that also in the food industry, complex projects come about: FPC had to make quite a lot of efforts to obtain the desired results. 6.1. Contributions Apart from its relevance per se, it may be useful to consider the framework's relations to other product development related models developed and/or applied to the food industry. Traill and Grunert (1997) have evaluated the ideas of six new product development (NPD) theorists and their associates. Some of these theories have been developed with particular reference to the food industry and the development of new food products. These ideas are contrasted with non-food specific theorists, who are interested in the management of new products and who have recognized the important role that NPD plays in any business. Traill and Grunert (1997) found that there is little consensus as to the right and wrong way to manage the process of product development. They therefore advocate that an organization should not be tied to one particular model, but should take on board the basic fundamentals of a food-based model (theory) and adapt and amend it to their particular situations as and when they develop new food products. Existing models for product development in the food industry are quite similar to the traditional stage-gate models used in the context of manufacturing companies; these models are slightly adapted to enhance the fit of the model to the specifics of the food industry. For example, Graf and Saguy (1991) propose, somewhat arbitrarily, to divide a typical project into five steps and then proceed to divide them into several sections. They also take into account the particular activities and skills required for each project. This ‘stage-gate’-like model is comprehensive and deals with food in an informative way. The IPDS framework is also a generic framework, which can be adjusted as to fit the characteristics of food companies. Given the fact that the framework deals specifically with supplier involvement, we believe that our framework is a useful enhancement to the existing body of knowledge. The IPDS framework provides a comprehensive approach to product development issues in the ‘extended firm’, which can definitely be transferred to the specifics of the food industry. The framework puts special emphasis on work in advance of any specific project, e.g., creating the right conditions to foster idea generation and realization (enablers) and doing thorough preliminary work on a more strategic level (developing guidelines, making the make-or-buy decision explicit, (supply) market research, et cetera). Our framework ultimately provides a kind of improvement model, enabling organizations to pinpoint the weaknesses in their product development projects and to in advance identify potential risks and improvement actions to mitigate these risks. This can make the difference between failure and success. 6.2. Limitations Thusfar, we have limited ourselves to identifying critical decision-making activities and conditions primarily from a customer perspective. However, supplier involvement is not a process that can be unilaterally managed by the customer. Additional and complementary perspectives have not explicitly been used in this study such as network and interaction approaches (Håkansson, 1987 and Von Corswant & Tunälv, 2002). Still, the framework–and in particular, the processes it encompasses–are originally based on four basic underlying processes that signal a ‘meaningful’ managerial involvement of the customer (Wynstra, Weggeman, & van Weele, 2003). These processes (prioritization, mobilization, co-ordination and timing) are derived from a resource-based view of product development, and are in particular based on the work of Bonaccorsi (1992) and Håkansson and Eriksson (1993). Nevertheless, a useful extension of our framework would be to consider a set of analogous processes, enablers and drivers, but then from the perspective of the supplier. Combined with the current, customer-focused framework this could result in a more complete, dyadic framework. Furthermore, we have not focused in-depth on the change processes in these companies that allow buyer and supplier to improve their collaboration in product development. This means that defining and examining the change processes could be a next possible extension. Further investigation is also needed into the appropriate informal and formal mechanisms that enable effective learning across different departments and with suppliers in the context of stronger supplier involvement in product development. In the current study we observed that one of the potential benefits of starting to involve suppliers in product development is the potential for learning, making future collaborations less resource-consuming and more effective. Still, many companies make the same mistakes over and over again. We therefore argue that visible evaluation processes need to be in place at different organizational levels to allow learning experiences to be passed on. The main finding of the current study, however, is that there is initial support for the claim that our analytical framework regarding the results, processes and pre-conditions of supplier involvement in product development is also applicable in the food industry. As such, our study, which we believe to be the first one to explicitly address supplier involvement in this industry, suggests that potentially useful lessons may be learned not only from, but also by this industry by comparing its practices with those applied in other industries. The differences between industries in this respect are usually smaller than expected.