Reducing the time required to develop new products has become an important factor of competition in many industries. This paper empirically tests whether management of the buyer-supplier interface affects supplier-related delays and, in turn, if these delays slow the overall project. Product development engineers and engineering managers in 79 assembly industry firms were surveyed to gather the data for this study. Results of analysis of covariance show that working with a supplier that has strong technical capabilities reduces supplier-related delays. However, the benefits of commonly cited interface management techniques such as early supplier involvement, increasing the supplier's responsibility for design, and greater buyer-supplier communication were not confirmed. A significant relationship was found between supplier-related delays and overall project delays. The priority that the buyer's top management places on the project and the degree of technical change were also significantly related to overall project delays.
Journal of Operations Management – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 1997
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