Managing Supplier Integration in New Product Development

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Queens University Management School


Working collaboratively with suppliers is increasingly cited as a 'best practice' in product development. Driven by increasing global competition, advances in information technology, and emerging networked forms of organising, firms are involving their key suppliers earlier and more extensively in the product development process. However, despite this increasing prevalence in practice, a review of the literature reveals comparatively little research investigating the role of suppliers in product development efforts, and their effect on performance. The impact on performance of key management decisions, such as when to involve suppliers and the level of design responsibility to award, is similarly unclear. The aim of this project is to develop a process maturity model to help organisations assess, and then improve upon, their supplier integration practices. A mixed method approach will be adopted, encompassing a set of 'best practice' case studies and a cross-sectional survey of UK manufacturing organisations. The outcomes will be a set of tools and methodologies for helping organisations to identify opportunities for supplier integration, to assess the maturity of their integration practices, and to make recommendations for improvement.


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