Product Development in Collaborative Networks – An Expert View on Current Challenges and Future Trends
Cross-enterprise collaboration in product development has become a common practice in industry. Companies increasingly depend on collaborations with networks of partners from different tiers of value creation, various geographic locations and even from outside of their own sector. Moreover, there is a growing tendency to involve parties from later stages of the product’s lifecycle in the product development phase. To face the challenges of the increasing complexity of collaborative product development a holistic approach of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) has evolved. Although methods, processes and IT-systems of PLM proved to be beneficial in supporting the internal collaboration of industrial companies, they seem to have only little effect in the context of cross-company collaboration. Reasons and solution approaches for that were evaluated in an expert study with 40 experts from industry and academia. Results from that study and practical implications are presented in this paper.
KeywordsProduct development in collaborative networks Collaborative engineering Product lifecycle management Industrial collaboration practices Expert study Trends of collaborative engineering
We thank all participants of the study for their contribution and support. Only by their individual commitment and their willingness to answer our questions patiently, even at early and late hours, this study could gained such in-depth insights about the present and future of collaboration in product development. We also want to thank Ms. Helena Rott (Fraunhofer IPK) and Ms. Barbara Scholvin (CONTACT Software GmbH) for their persistent contribution to the text editing and creation of graphics. Finally, we thank Dr. Heinz Bedenbender (VDI-GPP) and Ms. Sophia Rogge (TU Berlin) for proofreading.
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