Engineering in an International Context: Risks and Challenges
The increasing globalization has had a positive impact on multinational companies. Their customers are often doing their business globally and require the availability of technical services around the world. If on the one hand companies can have access to new markets, on the other hand globalization gives companies access to labor at cheaper prices. Outsourcing and offshoring of business activities to countries such as India or China represent significant potential savings of labor costs. Therefore, multinational companies should consider also some changes in the way of working since coordinating the tasks of teams located thousands of kilometers away or adapting to each country’s regulations and procedures represent big challenges for the companies’ engineering.
Today, engineering and manufacturing projects are usually executed across two or more geographically dispersed units or departments, research centers, or companies. This requires a shift of the whole or partial engineering value chain to other countries, a process typically referred to as “internationalization.” Based on the experience of a multinational company, active in various technical domains, the authors aim at identifying the challenges of internationalization in project business for the engineering of software-intensive technical systems.
This chapter intends to provide a definition of internationalization in engineering, pointing out its main characteristics. Challenges and impacts that industries face in the organization and performance of internationalization in a multinational company are discussed. Moreover, engineering best practices gathered so far to manage internationalization in engineering are presented and further envisioned research steps are shown.
KeywordsInternationalization Engineering Project business Readiness check Co-operation
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