One of the most common problems in product development is to strike the right balance between being market oriented and exploiting and protecting a company's product and process competencies. Until now research has only to a small extent been engaged in the development of tools that can help food companies integrate different competenceareas in their product development process. In collaboration with the Danish Technical University and the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, MAPP is carrying out a project on integrated product development. The project focuses on the development and integration of tools that can help food companies secure knowledge about products, processes and the market. Many food companies see that their departments - production, product development and marketing - find it difficult to follow a joint line in the development process. The technical departments press for the development of products exploiting certain technical possibilities while market demands come second. The marketing department on the other hand may focus too much on covering market needs in that connection disregarding whether it is actually possible to develop the product. Many companies therefore have a need for increased co-operation and understanding among the various departments. This is where integrated product development comes into the picture. The idea behind integrated product development is that successful product development requires a balance between the market and the company's product and process competencies throughout the whole development process. Of course, this is easier said than done but integrating various competencies into the product development prepares the ground for a better balance and consequently more products. Databases, for instance are a good example of a tool that can help food companies integrate their product development. Databases may be used for documentation purposes regarding knowledge about products, raw materials, processes as well as their interaction. The data can be used as input in later development projects. This may among other things speed up the development process and diminish the risk of inventing sliced bread once again. Furthermore the databases may be used as a foundation for a more effective and frictionless communication across departments. The project has its starting point in case studies of three Danish food companies. A research group follows an actual product development project in which various tools within market research, product modelling and process modelling are tested for their ability to contribute to integrating product development. To conclude the project, reflections with regard to potential - and potential pitfalls in integrated product development are listed.
Annual Report, 2000, p. 8-9
MAPP; Integreret produktudvikling; Produktudvikling; Integrated product development; Product development