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Title: The development and use of strategic business performance improvement frameworks for rapid prototyping and tooling : executive summary
Author: Halliday, Ian
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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Increasing global competition within industry has forced businesses to respond by reducing costs and product development lead times in order to survive. In the automotive industry, these strategic responses include the specific exploitation of new technologies and mergers with other companies to gain economies of scale. BMW AG purchased Rover Group in 1994 but it wasn't until 1998 that competitive pressure led to the completion of the merger through the creation of a single "Group Function" structure within BMW Group. The BMW Board stated high-level objectives for the process but provided no mechanism to convert them into reality. Similarly, the BMW Group Board initiated a business process "Re-engineering" programme in 1997/8 and stated cost, time and other objectives that would have to be met. The technical and process changes that would help to achieve the business improvements were being largely driven from the bottom of the organisation but there were no frameworks available to guide strategic technology introduction. The principal innovations generated during the course of this research are frameworks for: • Maximising the business benefits from the creation of 'Group Functions' • Internal strategy creation for technology-based business sub-units These two new frameworks have for the first time provided management and staff with the means to develop meaningful strategies and operational action plans from the corporate strategic objectives. The economic and business literature concentrates mainly on whole business strategy and merger activity, neglecting the need for guidance at the sub-corporate level. Although corporate strategy can provide the overall direction of a company, it is the managers that have to drive strategic change within the business. The frameworks were developed by the author based on an in-depth review of the literature and the specific context relating to Rapid Prototyping & Tooling (RP&T) within BMW. The frameworks were validated within the business situation and further enhanced where appropriate. The Group Function framework fills the process gap between the high-level objectives and the need for operational action plans. It provides a straightforward and easy to communicate structure to the process of optimising duplicated business subunits. Use of the framework led to the retention of both RP&T teams and the initiation of beneficial synergistic activities. The framework should be applicable to other similar groups in similar circumstances. The author developed a new strategy creation framework that for the first time combines a range of strategy development approaches from within the literature into a practical framework for sub-corporate strategy development. The framework was matched to the specific context of the RP&T case but could be used in other similar circumstances. The framework was used to successfully develop a new strategy for RP&T in BMW Group and includes new approaches developed by the author that reduce the impact of environmental change and uncertainty. The framework has been described in a stand alone form that can easily be more widely exploited.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor