Although prior research provides evidence that production ramp-up is often disrupted by supplier-related problems, it fails to discuss how the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and various types of suppliers integrate their functions and operations to secure preparations for production ramp-up. The purpose of this paper is to investigate OEM–supplier integration in a new product development (NPD) project to prepare for production ramp-up.
The results presented in this paper are based on a real-time, longitudinal study of a single collaborative NPD project in the mechanical engineering industry. The NPD project involves seven suppliers and it is carried out in a large Swedish company (the OEM) and fits the theory-elaborating approach of this research.
This study argues that the aspect of timing in OEM–supplier integration, the OEM’s research and development (R&D) attitude toward collaboration and the OEM’s (R&D) operating procedure are challenges affecting the preparation for production ramp-up. The following three mechanisms to facilitate OEM–supplier integration in order to prepare for production ramp-up are also discussed: the mediator’s role, the OEM’s face-to-face meeting at the project level and suppliers’ formal face-to-face meetings with the OEM and internally.
This paper elaborates on and extends prior research on production ramp-up by conducting an empirical analysis that incorporates supplier integration in NPD. It bridges the gap between the literature on production ramp-up and on supplier integration in NPD and clearly indicates that supplier integration is an important prerequisite for successful production ramp-up.
Financial support for this research was received from the funding agency, the Knowledge Foundation, and is gratefully acknowledged. The participation of the involved companies and their willingness to share their experiences is greatly appreciated.
Wlazlak, P., Säfsten, K. and Hilletofth, P. (2019), "Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-supplier integration to prepare for production ramp-up", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 506-530. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-05-2018-0156Download as .RIS
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