The impact of product visual aspects on development processes and success in the component supply industry
The study describes how product visual aspects affect development processes and success in the component supply industry. Past research has demonstrated the importance of the product development function to component supply companies. Previous publications have also shown that visual and aesthetic properties are important for the success of manufactured products. The objective of the study was firstly, to establish on a general level how supply companies control the development process and whether supplier involvement in component development affects their business success. The second stage was to examine more specifically whether visual aspects of products affect development control and business success in the supply industry. The thesis is presented as six chapters. Chapter 1 provides an introduction. Chapter 2 sets up a model of product development in the supply industry, conducts a series of case studies in industry and develops three hypotheses predicting the impact of product visuals on the development process and success in the component supply industry. In chapter 3 develops a research method for an extensive survey. Chapter 4 plots the data collected in the survey. Chapter 5 discusses the plots examining the three hypotheses. It was shown that supplier control in the development of component visuals decreased with the visual significance of the component in the final product. Furthermore, component profits for supply companies increased with the visual significance of the component in the final product. Finally in chapter 6 conclusions are made.