June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.571.1 - 11.571.13
Engineering Management in a Competitive Global Environment
The world around us is changing. The beginning of the twenty-first century is a period of rapid transition in which the pace of this transformation continues to accelerate. New organizations, technologies, and products are materializing at an escalating rate. Those organizations unable to keep up and successfully compete will quickly fade away. The shifting dynamics of trade and business continually reflects the increasingly competitive nature of the global marketplace. Organizations along with their managers must adopt and adapt new methods in order to survive with these sweeping transitions. Together these changes have created an entirely new paradigm for global competitiveness in engineering and business.
While new technological achievements have in many ways created the global markets, they also offered the tools required to deal with the increased distance and competition in an effective and timely manner. However, these new information technology and transportation systems have posed a threat to organizations that refused to change with the times and continue to rely on traditional methods. The economy and marketplace, however, are far from the only transformations that have occurred in recent years. Basically it all relates to change and plenty of it. Organizations along with their managers and employees are not experiencing a single transformation, but rather a number of them simultaneously.
This paper focuses on essential tools and techniques that must be utilized by engineering managers in order to transform their organization into a competitive force in the global marketplace. These include customer value perception, reduced cycle time, cross-functional teams, concurrent engineering, and collaborative engineering management. Organizations that have successfully implemented and employed these techniques are prospering in the highly competitive global environment while those that haven’t are languishing and on the verge of extinction.
Competition in a competitive environment is nothing new. It has existed since the very first exchange, perhaps by barter, of an item to satisfy a customer’s need or want. Once that occurred, the race was on to design, develop, manufacture, and offer a better product at a lower price to the customer. Initially the competition was localized existing in the same block, village, or town. Then as transportation and communication systems developed and improved, so did the range of the competition spreading out to ever growing territories. The cart was replaced by the wagon, which was replaced by the train, leading to the truck, and airplane. Modern transport had opened up entirely new areas to market and sell products. Gaining momentum this expansion continued and even accelerated to entire countries, continents, and finally the entire world. Aided by almost instant communication utilizing the telegraph, telephone, fax machine, and internet in rapid succession new global markets emerged. Competitors that were at one time next door are now thousands of miles away changing forever the environment in which organizations compete.
Loendorf, W. (2006, June), Engineering Management In A Competitive Global Environment Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/177
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