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Technical Paper

Netting a Corporate Web Community: Industry Sponsorship of the Internet

The New Economy is information based and Internet accessed. In 2000, industries recognized this leverage and initiated connectivity programs for their employees. Connectivity programs are equalizing opportunities for employees to enhance their personal potential and learn e-principles. Employees are discovering lifelong learning, improving work-life integration, and connecting to customers. Web companies gain efficiencies by sharing engineering designs, supporting build-to-order production schedules and promoting customer satisfaction at new levels. Connectivity packages support corporate hiring and retention objectives. This article reviews the context of the computer/Internet giveaways, the concepts of global relationships, Net learning and the Industry Internet.
Technical Paper

Design for People - Improving the Workplace

Successful simultaneous engineering requires a team with a high degree of engineering skill and experience, knowledge of the latest materials, processes, and methodologies; and it also requires finely honed people skills. Designing the workplace for people (DFP) can facilitate collaboration, increase quality and other significant metrics, and lead to an enhanced product greatly appreciated by the customer. Design for People applies the principles of performance technology to select and retain outstanding engineers, systematically train and educate for future competency needs, and reward and motivate through traditional and non-traditional approaches. Examples of best practice enable other organizations to apply the concepts of DFP.
Technical Paper

Working Smarter: Improving Engineering Performance

The world is in an information era which requires consistent and targeted training. Engineers must keep pace with engineering changes through continuous, lifelong learning. An effective method for determining engineering training plans is through individual and department skill gap analyses. Gap analysis is also an effective method for assisting engineering managers in the budgeting and planning processes. A research study of 12,000 engineers by a major automotive company resulted in the development of the Skills Gap Identifier and the Skill Needs Identifier, for targeting engineering training.
Technical Paper

Design through Collaboration: A Supplier Partnership Paradigm

New supplier / manufacturer relationship are necessary to produce products quickly, cost-effectively, and with features expected by the customer. However, the need for a new relationship is not universally accepted and endorsed. Resistance can be minimized through supplier self-assessment (such as Ford Motor Company's web-based instruments), management initiatives, and incentives. Trust and sharing are hallmarks. This strategy requires a new workplace paradigm affecting culture and people issues. Teams, extend across companies, share ideas and innovations. Decisions need to be mutually beneficial and the long-term value, for supplier and manufacturer, needs to be considered.
Technical Paper

Design for the Workplace: A Manager's Guide

Engineering productivity and customer-focused outcomes are ongoing concerns for managers. In order to be effective, engineering departments need to be challenging, satisfying, and productive places to work. Attracting and keeping talented engineers are constant worries in an era of uncertainty caused by competitiveness, downsizing, and restructuring. Design for the Workplace: A Manager's Guide focuses on providing maximum management support and encouragement. Engineering managers can use several strategies to create an effective workplace, including temporary job assignments, work teams, communication, training and career development, and motivation. Thoughtful planning and careful implementation are necessary for any strategy to be viable.