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© 2007

Value Driven Product Planning and Systems Engineering

Book

About this book

Introduction

Engineers and scientists often need to sell an innovative idea for a new product or a new product improvement to top management. Sometimes their tendency is to focus on the "WOW!" of the new technology at the expense of making a convincing business case. When the new technology represents a large cost reduction, there will be much less of a problem in convincing management to approve the project if the investment level is acceptable. The major rub comes when the new feature or technology is an improvement in customer value that also generates an increase in cost. This makes the sell difficult in spite of the fact that many of the inventive products available today are widely used because they provide very high value in relation to their added cost.

Engineers and scientists also occupy product planning positions where they need to be constantly scanning ideas for improving value that comes both from inside and outside the company to see if they make sense to incorporate in a future product. At the same time they need to anticipate what their major competitors are likely to do to improve their next generation of product. These problems are exacerbated in today’s global economy because the number of competitors has increased markedly in many product segments and there are many technological alternatives available for consideration. The problem of anticipating the moves of your major competitor is particularly challenging because most firms keep plans very secure. The engineer as product planner must learn to think like its major competitor using customer value as a guide.

Value Driven Product Planning and Systems Engineering provides essential support for engineers and scientists who are required to make realistic business cases for new innovative product concepts.

Keywords

Automobil Customer Value Engineering Economics New Product Development Product Planning Trends product development systems engineering

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (IESE) College of EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Product and Process Quality SpecialistHamilton SundstrandWindsor LocksUSA

About the authors

H.E. Cook, formerly Head of the Department of General Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and a Fellow of ASM. He set the vision for the newly inaugurated M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering within the General Engineering Department that led to the merger with Industrial Engineering and the formation of a new department named Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering. While a member of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Dr Cook held the Grayce Wicall Gauthier and later the Joseph Gauthier Professorships. Originally a theorist in materials science, his current research and teaching interests are in the broad aspects of product/technology management including product planning, value analysis, marketing research, design and analysis of strategic experiments (Six Sigma), and advanced quality systems. Dr Cook has also held a variety of research, engineering and management positions during 17 years in the automotive industry at Ford and Chrysler. He is a consultant to Birchwood Consultants International Ltd., and a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Board of General Motors.

L.A. Wissmann has worked for the Ford Motor Company as a Vehicle Engineer, and has spent time at General Motors as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Customer Driven Quality, where he helped to develop new methods for building business cases for new technologies in the R&D pipeline. During this period he was also pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering. He is currently employed by Hamilton Sundstrand.

Bibliographic information

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