Planning for Product Platforms Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Sharing of components and production processes on a platform of products, companies can develop differentiated products efficiently, make their processes more flexible and market share from competitors that develop only one product at a time. Platform approach also allows the company to manufacture products in large volumes, which are specifically designed to meet the needs of individual clients. The platform is a set of assets - components, processes, knowledge, people, and relationships - a set share of production. Planning efforts platform includes two main tasks. First, the attributes of product planning, where marketing managers to determine which segments of the market to enter, that customers in each segment we want, and what the product will appeal to those customers. Second, at the system level designers decide which product architecture is used to deliver a variety of products, sharing parts and production steps for all products. Three key ideas underlying the planning process platform. First, customers care about identity, how close the product meets their needs. At the same time, the cost of the internal operations of the company due to the level of parts held in common among the group of products. Second, given the architecture of the product, there is a compromise between originality and community. Third, the architecture of the product dictates the nature of compromise. For the development and harmonization of the three instruments - the product plan, the differentiation plan and community plan - managers can balance the need for identity and community need. This process should include all the basic functions and focus on the top management. "Hide
by David Robertson, Karl Ulrich Source: MIT Sloan Management Review 15 pages. Publication Date: July 1, 1998. Prod. #: SMR037-PDF-ENG

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