The increasing importance of environmental issues in new product development heightens the significance of the three dimensional concurrent engineering (3DCE) concept as a platform that allows for the assimilation of environmental considerations into the new product development process. While environmental concerns can be integrated without 3DCE, the added element of early supply chain consideration that is inherent in 3DCE is critical to the successful environmental new product development (ENPD) efforts as the environmental performance of a product is the consolidation of its environmental impact through all the stages of its lifecycle; making it dependent on the supply chain. This study aimed to explore and investigate the potential role and utilisation of the supply chain, through a 3DCE-based approach, during ENPD. It took the form of a mixed method study composed of a multi-case study, exploring supply chain management and the new product development process, and controlled experiments, exploring the impact of early supply chain design during environmental new product development. It was found that having the procurement function manage supply-side interactions and the design function practice preliminary supplier selection enables ENPD through early supply chain design. The key is the availability of supplier-specific information (supplying company and product information) and the effective use of the information. The information is made available through supply chain information sharing, a process that is hampered by the willingness to share and information availability. Using technology, mapping the supply chain for visibility and consolidating industry efforts were found to aid the information sharing. The findings and outputs of this study simultaneously expand the knowledge surrounding the utilisation of the supply chain during the integration of environmental considerations into the product development process, improve industry understanding of various organisational issues that surround the ENPD activity and offer new pragmatic mechanisms to support organisational ENPD efforts.
|Date of Award||23 Nov 2016|
|Supervisor||Elies Dekoninck (Supervisor) & Steve Cayzer (Supervisor)|