PRODUCT DESIGN AND PROCESS SELECTION WITHIN OM: HOW IT ALL FITS TOGETHER

Product design decisions are strategic in nature. The features and characteristics of a product need to support the overall strategic direction of the company. In turn, product design decisions directly dictate the type of process selected. They determine the types of facilities that will be needed to produce the product, types of machines, worker skills, degree of automation, and other decisions. Most companies continually design new products. The design of these new products has to take into account the type of processes the company has; otherwise facilities may not be available to produce the new product design. Therefore, product design and process selection decisions are directly tied to each other.

Product design and process selection decisions are further linked to all other areas of operations management. They are linked to decisions such as the level of capacity needed (Chapter 9), degree of quality (Chapters 5 and 6), layout (Chapter 10) and location of facilities (Chapter 9), types of workers (Chapter 11), and many others. As we go through this book, we will see how product design and process selection specifically impact other operations decisions.

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