Materials supply systems design in product development projects
Journal article, 2006
Purpose - This research aims to develop a model for describing and analysing materials supply systems (MSSs) design in product development projects (PDPs). Design/methodology/approach - Literature on materials supply and production systems design is reviewed in order to derive a MSSs design model. The model is applied to empirical data from a qualitative case study, which exemplifies how the model can serve to describe MSSs design in PDPs. Moreover, the model is used to analyse the empirical data related to the focus and characteristics of the design issues. Findings - The model developed contains six areas: materials feeding, storage, transportation, handling, packaging, and manufacturing planning and control at four levels: supply chain, plant, sub-unit, and utility. Research limitations/implications - Future research could complement the model by developing a design process to enable systematic design of the MSS as well as the integration of materials supply aspects at an early stage of PDPs. Such a design process should also consider the design of the flows of specific components. Practical implications - The importance of considering the relationships between the six design areas as well as evaluating the whole MSS is highlighted. Originality/value - The paper focuses on the materials supply aspects dealt with in PDPs, which have been the subject of little research interest so far, despite the fact that extensive resources are required for materials supply activities.