Keywords: concurrent engineering, metrics, teaming, enterprise integration, customer focus, change, requirements, process understanding, communications
Concurrent engineering: institution, infrastructure and implementation
Global competitive pressures are now driving traditional manufacturing organisations to move from a sequential, adversarial product design process to simultaneous design by integrated, multifunctional teams operating in co-operation with both customers and suppliers. Goals for time-to-market, total quality, affordability, flexibility and supportability have become as important as product performance. Concurrent processes are replacing the time-consuming sequential review-based methods of the past. The objective is to achieve right the first time production of complex systems in less time, with better quality and at lower cost. While these three goals are somewhat contradictory, advanced computer technology and new team-based business cultures enable industry to realise these goals while simultaneously meeting customers' requirements. The key to success lies in "managing for performance" through top-down institutional changes, standardised infrastructure and bottom-up incremental implementation of the new concepts.