Improving the Product/Process Relationship
Product Engineering, Component Supply and Vehicle Assembly are the main forces that transform ideas, customer research and technical information into products. Quality professionals, and others, have advanced many concept models about improved Product and Process Development based upon the application of new tools and systems to Engineering, Procurement/ Supply and Manufacturing/Assembly relationships. Regardless of the concept model, the problem of effecting operating change in U.S. automotive business practices has both behavioral and technical implications. While many studies have emphasized the application of quality tools and systems as a means to improve Product/Process development, they often overlook the cultural change that is necessary to transition from a 75-year history of strong vertical organizations to the “Networking” implicit with new concept models. The availability of improved tools and systems alone will not insure behavioral change.