Title: Achieving excellence in product development by resolving quality and warranty issues upstream, while reducing lead-time

Authors: M. Jehanzeb Noor, Daniel E. Whitney

Addresses: McKinsey & Company, Suite 2900, 21 S Clark Street, Chicago IL 60603, USA. ' MIT Centre for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development, E40-243, 77 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA 02139, USA

Abstract: This research is based on observations made over a two year period of the Closures Systems Integrators (CSIs) at a North American automobile manufacturer. CSIs coordinate attribute balance and system decisions for conflicting car door attributes. The attribute delivery process is very tightly coupled with many interactions and conflicts between the attributes, and careful system integration and interface management are essential to satisfy customer needs. Programs with dedicated CSIs have fewer design-related problems during launch. Our study also reveals the need for more support and clearer roles and responsibilities for CSIs.

Keywords: vehicle door design; customer attribute conflict; system tradeoffs; system balancing; complex systems; system quality; system warranty; automotive product development; design structure matrix; DSM; system engineering; automobile industry; closures systems integrators; lead time reduction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2010.036392

International Journal of Product Development, 2010 Vol.12 No.3/4, pp.296 - 310

Published online: 02 Nov 2010 *

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