Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-3722

The Evolution of the Product Development Process by the Strategic Contribution of the Information Technology in an Automaker Company 2003-01-3722

The purpose of this article is to highlight the distinctive role of the Information Technology (I.T.) in shaping today's Product Development business processes.
The emerging R&D1 business environment and fierce competitiveness call for a strategy based on three elements: low product costs, high quality and fast and flexible response to the customer needs (time to market).
Correspondingly, I.T.2's role within Ford Motor Company R&D division has had a high contribution to the efficiency enhancements and its role is a fundamental enabler in creating and maintaining a flexible, robust and virtually integrated network (all internal offices within Ford and its suppliers) through a unique project office forum.
The case reflects the benefits of the strategic R&D business process redesign and scope redefinition over the last years, by using the I.T. as a strategic key enabler for the today's performance effectiveness. The main topics will establish a relationship between the R&D processes changes and the tools developed by I.T., such as knowledge management, digital Mock Up Management (C3P3 ), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and other systems that integrated the R&D offices by the introduction of new technologies, modifying the R&D timescales (Durability timescales, reduced prototype phases, etc.) and also reducing costs drastically as a consequence. The Amazon Project, the most complex project ever developed by Ford South America, will be our guideline for this case.


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