Product: Management and Development
Product: Management and Development
Original Research

Collaborative alignment of design partners: first step towards the definition of multiple design process models used by an automotive supplier according to specific carmakers

Rogerio Nakamura, Henrique Rozenfeld

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Each player in the automotive value chain usually has its own design process model. Suppliers must evaluate the process by eliminating, adjusting (crashing), or fast-tracking steps according to each demand of a specific project. Sometimes a carmaker involves a supplier too late in the overall design process. Consequently, suppliers must pass over some validation activities and accelerate others to keep pace with the carmaker. This research aims to create a supplier design process model aligned with a carmaker's, which can support the collaborative design and prevent future problems. Based on this experiment, the broader objective is to define a set of process models for any relationship with specific carmakers. The methodology adopted is insider action research carried out in a real environment. One of the researchers is an employee of the company, which provided many insights for this research. The results confirm the reduction of the design development effort measured in engineering hours and development costs. The development lead time was also reduced, but other practices such as joint meetings may have contributed to this reduction. These practices were deployed from the integrated and aligned collaborative process model.


automotive industry, collaborative, product development management, product development process.


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