Architectural innovation in product development through early supplier integration
In addition to the establishment of integrated product teams, key enablers include: long-term commitment to suppliers; co-location; joint responsibility for design and configuration control; seamless information flow; and retaining flexibility in the definition of system configuration. Important contributing factors include: supplier-capability-enhancing investments; target costing; and incentive mechanisms. To promote innovative outcomes in military and government programmes, attention is drawn to the importance of governments championing closely-knit customer-supplier relationships.
Firms can build enduring competitive strength by leveraging the specialized knowledge bases of their supplier networks. Two case-studies provide lessons to improve current approaches to the creation of long-term partnerships, or strategic alliances, with suppliers.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Lean Aerospace Initiative and Center for Policy and Industrial Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2: Formerly, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Institute (retired), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 3: TRW Space & Defense Division; formerly Lean Aerospace Initiative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Publication date: 1998-07-01