Modular New Product Development in Highly Dynamic Markets

Hamburg University of Technology
  • The implementation of a new approach always poses some organizational challenges but can also offer unrecognized opportunities. The Integrated PKT-approach for Development of Modular Product Families has been successfully implemented to reduce the existing variance-induced complexity within many modularization projects in industry by reducing the internal component variety and process complexity. To support the new development activities based on new technologies, the modularization approach has been tailored to initially structure a product family instead of just single products and to also consider future user and customer diversity. An additional increase in complexity and uncertainty is induced by the increasing share of digital parts within products since they move towards IoT-systems that organizations need to cope with. This study investigates the opportunities and challenges of implementing the modular New Product Development (NPD) approach for the development of New Generation Products (NGP) (e.g. e-cigarettes, HNB devices) in the highly dynamic fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) markets. On the example of a use case, we show the integration of standardized modules into customer specific NGPs with the help of appropriate product design models. The risks and benefits of the modular NPD approach are evaluated and discussed based on two product examples. The results of the study show that the used modularization approach enables an organization to develop the components and modules simultaneously and independently by defining the interfaces before the development activities start, thus reducing development lead times. Risk and challenges during implementation as well as the benefits within application are evaluated conclusively. The learnings from the study are distilled to provide recommendations for initial product design. The study shows that organizations can benefit from modular product development already in early development phases. The parallel development of modules diversifies the risk and accelerates the product development timeline.
TUHH Open Research

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