Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-2260
2002-04-09

Web-Based Product Development at ArvinMeritor 2002-01-2260

The remarkable advances occurring within information technologies are leading to profound changes in every aspect of the way business processes are conducted. ArvinMeritor's (ARM) Web-Based Engineering (WBE) initiative is utilizing Internet technologies to establish an online source for information, knowledge capture, and collaboration. Additionally, the WBE initiative is facilitating common business processes and best practices. Effective implementation of Web-Based Engineering requires more than being fluent in HTML, JavaScript, Java, etc. Effecting real improvement in business performance requires thorough understanding of business processes, especially the new product development process. The development of new products is, of course, the lifeblood of the automotive industry. Further, nearly all areas of a company are involved with or are ultimately affected by the product development process. As a precursor to the WBE initiative, ArvinMeritor has developed a common product development process. This process consists of a common, corporate process that may be tailored and expanded depending on the product and situation. The WBE strategy implements the common product development process and establishes processes for the development of best practices and automated tools. These are integrated directly into the product development process along with ongoing capture and application of lessons learned. The WBE initiative also ties in supporting processes such as innovation and benchmarking. ArvinMeritor is utilizing off-the-shelf web-based document management software to serve as the knowledge management and collaboration platform. In addition to the document management functions, the system is extensible using standard Internet tools to support custom application development. While the WBE initiative is a work-in-progress, initial progress and the potential for future improvements are encouraging.

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