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Resolving Design Chain vs. Supply Chain Conflicts

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Michael Kirschner
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Design Chain => Supply Chain
Michael Kirschner   12/18/2012 12:59:19 PM

This is why manufacturers should have teams to define the "Safe Design Space" for product development. Design Engineers need to know what suppliers and parts are OK for them to select and use in new designs, and what the consequences are for going outside that. And going outside is fine; the point is to raise the fact that engineering thinks they need a new supplier, new part type, new technology, etc. to accomplish some function. The implications this can have for the other internal stakeholders (procurement, quality, supply management, manufacturing engineering, marketing, etc.) needs to be assessed and understood by the team, and the go ahead given or denied. Its not meant to stand in the way of product development but rather to take the time to ensure that the resulting supply chain is capable of delivering the product at the cost, quality, and volumes necessary for success.

Unless you align your design and supply chains you constantly run the risk of making avoidable, and costly, supply chain related decisions during the product development phase.

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