Title: Development of innovative products in a small and medium size enterprise

Authors: Joze Duhovnik, Marko Starbek, S.N. Dwivedi, Biren Prasad

Addresses: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Askerceva 6, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Askerceva 6, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA. Spec2Market Solutions, e-Manufacturing Product Business Unit, P.O. Box 3882, Tustin, CA 92781-3882, USA

Abstract: Problems in the development of new products in small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) are analysed. Concurrent engineering methods known to date for the development of new products are tested within the framework of human and organisational capacities. The methodologies of 3-T looping and three-level team structure were especially tested. It was established that a two-level organisation is more suitable for small companies. Due to requirements for product complexity, it was found that n-T looping methodology should be implemented. In the case of complex products (the methodology was tested on a mini-loader), it turns out that n is in the range of seven to nine members. Such a large team is still manageable and acts in an integrative manner to achieve the goal, i.e. new product development. In the matrix analysis of activities, the use of supplemented methodology was justified and proven for each phase of product development.

Keywords: product development; concurrent engineering; teamwork; SMEs; team structure; organisational design; product innovation

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2003.002116

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2003 Vol.17 No.4, pp.187-201

Available online: 20 Jul 2003 *

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