Inderscience Publishers

Global product development in the ceramic tiles industry

This paper describes the product development activities of a manufacturer of ceramic tiles based in Melbourne, Australia. The company, Johnson Tiles Australia (JTA), is part of the Norcros Group of companies that is one of the leaders in the design and manufacture of wall and floor ceramic tiles. The paper describes how JTA transformed itself from a purely manufacturing and sales organisation that only supplied to the domestic market into an organisation that designs, manufactures and markets its products around the world. The paper details how the implementation of a computer-aided design system, a cross-functional design team and the global design conferences enabled JTA and it's other sister companies to develop products at a global level and attain a competitive advantage in the industry.

Keywords: global product design, ceramic tile industry, computer-aided design, cross-functional design teams, Australia

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