My research question as stated in Section 1.2 is whether a product’s competitiveness can be increased by designing the product architecture according to functionality and physical complexity. The complexity management model combines these two dimen sions in the complexity matrix and was applied to several products in the machinery and process equipment industries. The research results suggest that the product’s balance with respect to the two dimensions is enhanced, i.e. the same or an increased level of functionality is provided while causing less physical complexity. This means that what the product does from a customer perspective (its benefit for users) is ac complished by generating less complexity within the product. As was shown in Chap ter 2, complexity within a product’s architecture has an effect on virtually all func tional areas of a company and causes complexity costs. An improved proportion of functionality and physical complexity therefore entails cost savings for the same cus tomer benefit. Generally speaking, this translates to an enhanced competitiveness of the product because customer value — customer benefit minus total customer costs — can be increased. While the research indicates a basically positive answer to the re search question for the cases considered, the limitations to the answer are presented in Section 6.2.
KeywordsComplexity Matrix Case Study Research Physical Complexity Product Architecture Internal Complexity
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