A Process-oriented Approach for Management of Product Configuration Models
Paper in proceedings, 2004
Efficient product configuration systems have been widely recognized by industrial companies as an important tool for meeting increasing customer requirements for specifically adapted products according to their needs/requirements. The main obstacle in this area has been the long-term maintenance of the product configuration models with the new product definition information generated throughout the product lifecycle. Much of the work in this area has focused on product architecture issues, data modelling techniques and software tools. However, in order to be useful, the models and software applications must be put into the right business process context that is supported by the proper organizational framework. Thus, the paper presents a generic process-oriented approach for change management of product configuration-related information in industrial companies. The process contains steps for identification of new and/or changed product configuration knowledge, request of a change in the product configuration model, evaluation of the request, and finally an update of the product configuration model in the system. In addition, there is a description of employees' competence profile descriptions and the organizational roles needed to support an effective product configuration management process in an industrial company.