A Comparison of New Product Introduction
in the Construction and Manufacturing Sectors:
Implications for Implementing Concurrent Engineering
Corresponding Author: Brookes, Naomi
Author(s): Brookes, N. (*), and Anumba, C. (+)
Organisation(s): (*) Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University (UK), (+) Department of Civil & Building Engineering, Loughborough University (UK)
This paper compares and contrasts New Product Introduction (NPI) in the construction and manufacturing industrial sectors. It uses a framework for this process that was developed to characterize NPI in the manufacturing sector and which has been used successfully in a series of manufacturing companies. The framework comprises of five key elements: process, organizational structure, individuals’ roles and supporting tools. The provenance of the framework especially with respect to General Systems Theory is briefly discussed. The framework is then used to consider a series of issues including the following: key steps in NPI, process, project management techniques, team membership and the extended enterprise, product model ownership, the impact of volume production and the role of design-for-manufacture/construction techniques. Having delineated the key similarities and differences in NPI in the construction and manufacturing sectors, the paper proceeds to discuss the implications for these in implementing concurrent engineering in the construction sector. It identifies the changes in emphasis required in the concurrent engineering approach and highlights potential implementation problems.