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Potential drawbacks of component commonality in product platform development
by Maximilian Pasche; Martin Sköld
International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (IJATM), Vol. 12, No. 1, 2012


Abstract: Numerous companies apply product platforms in order to improve their competitiveness due to increasingly challenging market conditions. Product platforms are often motivated by financial goals and a desire to increase commonality in order to achieve economies of scale and scope. However, while a great deal of the previous research describes the benefits of product platforms, the potential drawbacks and disadvantages of commonality are only sporadically covered. The underlying motive for this study is to elaborate on existing knowledge in order to identify areas which deserve particular attention when an organisation is striving for commonality, specifically with regard to components. From an in-depth explorative case study of a major global truck manufacturer, drawbacks are identified and categorised into: 1) strategic; 2) technical; 3) organisational drawbacks. Furthermore, this study investigates the ways in which different parts of the organisation are affected by component commonality. Finally, it discusses ways in which the identified drawbacks can be counteracted.

Online publication date: Mon, 26-Mar-2012


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