Reid, Iain, Ismail, Hossam and Poolton, Jenny (2008) Sharing-ETO-Knowledge: Managing the NPD process in Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing Organisations. In: “Supply Chain Innovations: People, Practice and Performance” Proceedings of the Logistics Research Network Annual Conference 2008. The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. ISBN 9781904964003

Sharing Knowledge is considered an important part of managing new product development (NPD)
research on the process of NPD and Knowledge Management methods have influenced industry in
various ways (Hicks, 2002). For example the management of the NPD process, the use of tools,
techniques and the organisation of teams, and the integration of the marketing and manufacturing
have resulted in considerable progress within NPD process. Prior studies on the NPD problems have
delivered various models of the NPD process and a variety of supporting methods, tools and
techniques in a generic context. A more realistic scenario however, is to consider the needs of firms that develop products on Engineer-to-Order (ETO) basis. One of the main problems associated with ETO is how ETO manufacturers learn from what are essentially “one-off” projects. This paper presents a framework that supports knowledge sharing across the ETO projects. The framework focuses on assessing the critical phases of the new product development (NPD) process, as well as providing a knowledge base for embedding, managing and disseminating the aspects of the learning curve in order to support future projects. The paper highlights the importance of sharing knowledge and the ongoing uncertainties of NPD-ETO and is supported by a complex industrial case study within multinational ETO manufacturing enterprise.

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