Learning within a product development working practice

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Learning within a product development working practice

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Title: Learning within a product development working practice
An understanding anchored in pragmatism
Author: Bang Mathiasen, John
Abstract: The subject matter chosen for this PhD, learning within a Product Development (PD) working practice, might give rise to wonder given that I have a theoretical education within supply chain management, achieved practical experience as senior supply chain manager and finally, conducted a great many lectures dealing with supply chain management. Offhand, it may seem an odd choice, but my practical experience, briefly illustrated in the below, triggered the decision to study learning within a PD working practice. PD implies design of components and clarifications of the assembly process. A side effect of these activities is a routing, which establishes the supply chain; that is, the total journey, which all components must undertake before the product is saleable. Hence, seen from the perspective of the operation, the supply chain to be managed throughout the life cycle of the product is created during the PD phase. Changing a supply chain later on is possible, but it requires a significant effort. When managing a supply chain area, in which a large part of the products had a life cycle of more than 10 years, I realised the critical importance of influencing the PD process. Thus, employees from the supply chain department were often engaged in intense exchanges of views with the PD engineers and substantial resources were devoted to improving the awareness of supply chain considerations during the PD process. Nevertheless, in my firm conviction, these efforts only managed to exert minor influence and consequently, the established supply chains were difficult to handle. Ever since then, I have wondered why we were unsuccessful in influencing the supply chain of a new product. The involved supply chain engineers had a highly theoretical background as well as practical experience, but it was not possible to initiate learning among the PD engineers as regards the establishment of a more suitable supply chain.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8509
Date: 2012-09-12

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