Design for Variety
Companies seek various methods to stay competitive; one possible method to gain customers and enhance competitiveness is to offer increased variety to the marketplace. However, increasing the amount of variety within a company has costs, which the company of course seeks to reduce. In this chapter we first discuss some specific challenges that companies such as Boeing, Denso, HP, and Seagate have with increased variety. We then present our Design for Variety (DFV) research. It focuses on methodologies that will help companies quantify the costs of providing variety and will qualitatively guide designers in developing products that incur minimum variety costs. Our proposed tools incorporate both quantitative indices and qualitative design charts.
KeywordsCommonality Modularity Late-Point Differentiation Supply Chain Design for Manufacturability
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