Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

April 2012    |    Volume: 44    |    Number: 4

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Simplifying for savings

University-corporate collaboration develops tool that helped reduce tire product complexity at Goodyear

By Nihal Orfi, Asli Sahin-Sariisik and Janis Terpenny

Today, companies are faced with pressure to increase variety in product offerings. While increasing variety and choices pleases customers and increases market share, the costs of doing so can be significant. Managing a diverse mix of products and associated components becomes complex, with impacts on performance requirements and production processes. Left unmanaged, variety causes complexity in products and processes to soar, which negatively impacts product development, cycle time, production scheduling, efficiency, the supply chain and more. Unfortunately, product complexity is still a theoretical concept with no unified and commonly validated approach or measurement, which makes it difficult for companies to understand and manage.

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