Internationales Komplexitätsmanagement am Beispiel der Automobilindustrie

  • International complexity management in the automotive industry

Schoeller, Nicolas; Schuh, Günther (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2009)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2009


The globalization and heterogeneous markets have increased the number of product variants dramatically. More dynamic markets shorten innovation cycles and increase the internal complexity of OEMs and automotive suppliers. The costs associated with this additional complexity become the main cost factor. The challenge in the automotive industry is to respond adequately to the additional complexity caused by the globalization: The key question is how companies in the automotive industry can better handle the increasing product complexity. This dissertation describes how complexity and associated costs can be considerably reduced through the realization of commonalities. Commonalities are defined as synergies between products like shared parts, technologies or design characteristics. For the implementations of commonalities it is necessary to differentiate between the different types of commonalities. Commonalities can be realized between product variants of a given product generation (simultaneous) or between products of subsequent product generations (temporal). In international companies these commonalities can be achieved locally, regionally or globally. Commonalities (for example common parts) can be realized between different brands (Inter-brand Commonality), in different regions (Inter-Regional Commonality) or globally (Global Commonality). In this dissertation the different types of commonalities are outlined in detail and the "Onion-peel Model" is presented as a tool to implement commonalities within international companies. Creating and implementing commonalities requires the close cooperation of international R&D departments. Only coordinated R&D activities can develop common parts, technology platforms or design platforms and implement them later on. The Onion-Peel-Model visualizes, characterizes and prioritizes commonalities and proposes mechanisms to help guide R&D departments when managing the product development process and to coordinate international R&D activities. The transparency about various commonality types and the Onion-Peel-Model support automotive companies in handling the increasing product complexity and thus improve their cost position.