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Integrated Product Development: Linking Business And Engineering Disciplines In The Classroom

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.259.1 - 1.259.6



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Paper Authors

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Joseph A. Heim

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Gary M. Erickson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2642

Integrated Product Development: Linking Business and Engineering Disciplines in the Classroom

Joseph A. Heim, Gary M. Erickson University of Washington

Shorter product life cycles, increasing product variety, and customer demand for low cost and higher quality is driving manufacturing organizations to integrate the production process with upstream design activities and downstream marketing functions. Furthermore, there is a strong relationship between the time taken by a company to introduce new products to the marketplace, and the financial success to be enjoyed by that product 1 over its marketable life time.

In this paper, we discuss the development and delivery of a graduate course that examines many of the management, teaming, technology and economic challenges that must be addressed by firms that wish to remain competitive. The course focuses on the methodologies, tools, and structures needed for successful new product development efforts with a combination of lecture, student team product development projects and business community participation.

Integrated Product Development Manufacturers have begun to realize that the product development strategies and organizational structures that have worked so well since the 1940s, are no longer appropriate for the circumstances in which they find themselves today. Revolutionary changes in customer expectations accompanied by intensifying international competition demand that similarly disruptive changes must occur in the manner in which new products are conceived, produced and delivered to the customer. Intellectually deciding what products the customer will purchase will no longer suffice.

One of the most profound challenges facing product manufacturers is the shortening of product life cycles. Customers have a more short-term, fashion-like attitude towards many products they purchase; they have no patience for products which do not meet their quality expectations nor have they any interest in good that do not fit their requirements for performance and features. In this environment, the producer must be able to understand the needs of the customer and respond with goods and services that delight the customer, that deliver a competitive suite of functions and desired performance at an attractive price and in a timely manner— 2 when the customer wants them.

Such changes are forcing organizations to substantially increase the involvement of customers in product development, and they are reexamining the critical relationships within the organization that influences how long it takes to create new products and bring them to market. Engineers must be able to help articulate the kinds of market intelligence they need to design and produce competitive products. And the people responsible for the marketing and financial aspects of product development must learn about the possibilities presented by alternative product and process technologies. They must also, however, understand the limitations and operational constraints imposed by current investments in equipment, machinery, and production facilities.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Heim, J. A., & Erickson, G. M. (1996, June), Integrated Product Development: Linking Business And Engineering Disciplines In The Classroom Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6119

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