Open Access Article

Title: Effects of product platform development: fostering lean product development and production

Authors: Peter E. Harland; Zakir Uddin

Addresses: Technische Universität Dresden, International Institute (IHI) Zittau, Markt 23, D-02763 Zittau, Germany ' Technische Universität Dresden, International Institute (IHI) Zittau, Markt 23, D-02763 Zittau, Germany

Abstract: In the lean management literature, it is mentioned that product platforms foster lean product development and production. Although product platforms are well known for several effects like reducing costs and attaining multiple product variants, there is still little understanding of how these effects are interrelated and how product platforms support lean product development and production. From a content analysis, we found 27 effects; but only a few effects are mentioned per paper and they vary from paper to paper. Given reasonable indications that common hierarchies and other relationships exist, we define a consistent framework for the effects of product platforms that describes the influence on product development projects and production. An adaptation of this framework to a literature case also illustrates how cost reductions and competitive advantages are achieved. Therefore, the developed framework shows how product platforms' lean thinking helps companies to become more competitive and profitable in the market.

Keywords: product platforms; lean product development; lean production; effects; framework; literature review; lean management; cost reductions; competitive advantage; lean thinking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2014.064881

International Journal of Product Development, 2014 Vol.19 No.5/6, pp.259 - 285

Received: 20 Jul 2013
Accepted: 21 Apr 2014

Published online: 19 Sep 2014 *