Procurement in new product development for physical testing and collaboration with suppliers

Tahera, Khadija (2022). Procurement in new product development for physical testing and collaboration with suppliers. In: Annual Logistics Research Network (LRN) Conference Proceedings, UK, pp. 146–151.



A company procures prototypes or components for physical testing at various stages of product development. Along lead time for procurement of these items can cause a significant delay in the overall product development. The lead time is the time between placing an order and delivering an item from a supplier. The paper aims to report what causes a delay in placing the order and the consequences of increased lead time on other product development activities. And strategies for solving these issues are presented. Research Approach The empirical study was undertaken to identify critical issues that engineering manufacturing companies face regarding the procurement of physical prototypes or items required for physical testing in new product development and manufacturing. Three case studies were undertaken in a diesel engine design and manufacturing company, a forklift truck manufacturer, and a turbocharger manufacturing company. A thorough, in-depth case study was conducted on the diesel engine company to understand the current practice and areas of improvement. Two other case studies were conducted to corroborate the findings. Findings and Originality Clear, precise and timely release of specifications of testing requirements helps the supplier’s product validation and testing process. The supplier’s product validation testing can dramatically reduce the company’s component level testing and how the overall product is tested. In an effective collaboration with suppliers, companies can use suppliers’ knowledge and expertise to complement internal capabilities. This help reduces the time required to deal with quality problems and improve the overall testing effort and cost. This paper reports original findings from case studies and strategies that companies may use to improve current practices. Research Impact This work produces a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of prototype items’ procurement processes for physical testing and their impact on the overall product development process. And the significance of coordination with their suppliers is needed at each stage of the product development process to deliver quality products on time. Practical Impact This paper offers practical impact by systematically highlighting from three case studies how a collaborative effort to integrate test plans, analysis results, and corrective action workflows across suppliers, manufacturers, and customers could benefit the overall product development process.

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