Product design is an important mechanism for coordinating the activities of key supply chain participants. As organizations outsource the production of sub-assemblies and components, they also may be asking suppliers to participate in product design. As they outsource design capabilities it is essential that they manage and coordinate the flow of information among the supply chain participants. This can be especially important as organizations outsource components to multiple suppliers. Now, there may be important design interfaces among multiple suppliers. These interfaces must be properly managed to ensure cost effective and timely designs. Clearly, information and communication technologies become important parts of this effort.Product design is an essential activity for firms competing in a global environment. Product design drives organizational success because it directly and significantly impacts nearly all of the critical determinants for success. Customers demand greater product variety and are quick to shift to new, innovative, full-featured products. In addition, customers make purchase decisions based on a growing list of factors that are affected by product design.
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