Title: Managing engineering design in complex supply chains

Authors: Robin Roy, Stephen Potter

Addresses: Design Innovation Group, Centre for Technology Strategy, Faculty of Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. ' Design Innovation Group, Centre for Technology Strategy, Faculty of Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK

Abstract: The trend towards organizing design, development and manufacture via supply chains, rather than predominantly in-house, poses major challenges for design management. Procurement methods based on adversarial competitive tendering are generally unsuited to complex engineering products requiring strong design and development coordination. Literature on |supplier partnerships| has largely overlooked the implications for managing design and development. This paper reports the results of a major project that focuses upon this issue, concentrating on practical case studies – from British Rail, Netherlands Railways, Rolls Royce and British Coal – that involve the management of |devolved| engineering design by large business organizations. A spectrum of approaches from in-house to fully devolved design is described. It is concluded that there does not appear to be a single best approach for managing devolved design, but that appropriate approaches for an organization depend on its location in the supply chain and its ability to manage organizational change.

Keywords: engineering design; development; buyer-supplier relationship; procurement; purchasing; supply chain management; SCM; railways; supplier partnerships; design management; organisational change.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1996.025524

International Journal of Technology Management, 1996 Vol.12 No.4, pp.403 - 420

Available online: 22 May 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article