The trend of outsourcing within the electronic industry has contributed to the creation of new types of extended enterprises. These extended enterprises must be able to manage a challenging situation with shorter product life cycles, increased co-operation between companies during product development, more individualized products, etc.
In general, these new extended enterprises consist of: a "product owner" in the form of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that owns the product design and its brand; a "producer" in the form of an Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) company that is responsible for the manufacturing; and suppliers of services, material, components, equipment etc. In some cases the producer has the responsibility for the product introduction process. In the product introduction process a product design is prepared for and transferred into production. The product introduction includes the design of the production system.
The challenging situation in the electronic industry demands an efficient and flexible manner of work during the product introduction process within an extended enterprise. The objective for this thesis is therefore to explore and describe, on a general level, factors, parameters, and conditions that are of importance for an efficient product introduction within an extended enterprise.
In the research empirical data were. first collected within an OEM that was responsible for its own manufacturing. Based on a strategic decision at the OEM a new extended enterprise was founded. This new extended enterprise consists of the original OEM as a product owner, an EMS as a producer with responsibility for product introduction and manufacturing, and their suppliers. After this strategic decision, further empirical data were collected within this newly founded extended enterprise.
The analysis of the empirical data made it possible to explore and describe a generic product introduction process. Furthermore, a generic structure of an extended enterprise is presented and the main conditions to fulfill in order to achieve an efficient product introduction within an extended enterprise are described. These main conditions are:
- A clear defmition of what is included in product introduction.
- Early participation from Production System Design in the product development project.
- Clear communication and information handling within the extended enterprise - both internally and externally.
- Business approaches built on trust, reliability and respect for each other's competence.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2002. , 58 p.