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Title: Simulating vicious circles in new product introduction systems
Author: Yin, Chenggang
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 4837
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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New product introduction systems are complex socio-technical systems that are used to design, develop, and deliver products and services to users. Lack of design information within such systems results in uncertainties that have an adverse effect on the performance of the whole system by creating a need for rework. Typical performance measurements for new product introduction systems are time, cost, and quality. Rework has a significant influence on time-related aspects of system performance because it consumes additional time resource that could otherwise be dedicated to other activities such as the development of new products. Rework reduces time resource available for information communication which in turn leads to more rework in the future. This results in vicious circles where limited time leads to more rework which further detracts from time to devote to other tasks in the future. Vicious circles have previously been reported in societal systems. The goal of this research was to apply modelling and simulation techniques to understand time-related aspects of the vicious circles phenomenon in new product introduction systems and explore potential management interventions to mitigate the consequences of vicious circles. A case study from an international manufacturing organisation was used to inform the development of a simulation mapping between key elements of the new product introduction system and key concepts that underpin agent-based simulation methods. A simulation model was developed to represent vicious circles in the case study, based on the simulation mapping. The simulation model was verified and validated through a series of seven experiments. Four further simulation experiments were then carried out. The first two experiments explored the impact of different prioritisations of responding to information requests on time-related aspects of the system performance. Results highlighted the importance of prioritising responses to information requests which significantly reduced rework volumes in the model. The final two experiments explored the balancing of time taken for individual product development activities and resources used. In simulations with low response rates, one means to avoid system collapse was to extend the time allowed for product development. Given the need to deliver products to market as quickly as possible, a final experiment explored ways to speed up product development to eliminate adverse effects on product development cycle time. By reducing the time taken to respond to requests, which in a real world system could be achieved in a number of ways, e.g. improving team size or design capability, the product development cycle could be shortened.
Supervisor: McKay, Alison ; Clegg, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available