Concurrent Engineering is simultaneous development of different subsystems, technologies and manufacturing process of a product across suppliers. This iterative development process can accelerate time to market and lead to cost/performance optimization at a system level.
As we have discussed in the past, concurrent engineering is absolutely critical to fast-paced high-tech and electronics industries. Global competition means that companies cannot afford to wait for suppliers complete their development to start planning theirs. In fact, this trend is only accelerating.
However, concurrent engineering adds to product development complexity and makes management even more challenging. If leading-edge companies such as Toyota face challenges due to complexity, is it worth applying these methods to low volume products in industries such as Aerospace and Defense or to a lesser extent Medical Devices?