Production Planning & Control
Integrated product development (IPD) is gaining increased attention from practitioners and the academic community as a source of innovation and competitive advantage. However undeniable the importance of the issue is as to how the different actors involved in the process interact among themselves and the supporting factors not being well understood even in the SME context, the availability of empirical research and a comprehensive framework to drive this research remains unavailable. This article contributes to these research gaps by providing theoretical and empirical findings. First, a research framework on IPD is identified. The proposed framework represents a conceptualisation of IPD principles as consisting of three groups of integration enablers, which aim to achieve high internal (among departments) and external (with suppliers and customers) integration: (a) organisational enablers, (b) technological enablers and (c) methodologies. Then, a multiple case study approach is used in order to empirically explore external integration with suppliers in product development in 22 SMEs from the machine tool sector.
Taylor & Francis Online :: Supplier involvement in integrated product development: evidence from a group of Italian SMEs - Production Planning & Control -