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Study Notes

Simultaneous engineering

AS, A-Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Simultaneous engineering is part of the time-based management approach. It is a project management approach that helps firms develop and launch new products more quickly.

All of the areas involved in a project are planned together. Everything is considered simultaneously (together, in parallel) rather than separately (in series).

Product teams are set up to include people in all areas that are relevant to the new product – design, development, production, marketing etc.

Suppliers are involved in the new product development so that potential delays in resourcing of raw materials, components and services can be anticipated and avoided

A teamwork approach is used, with all areas involved in the project working on the project at the same time.

The end result is that:

  • The new product is brought to the market much more quickly
  • The firm may be able to charge a premium price that will give a better profit margin and help recoup R&D costs
  • There is less likelihood of a need to modify the product later due to unforeseen problems
  • A greater sense of involvement across business functions improves staff commitment to the project
  • This can therefore be a source of competitive advantage (‘first mover advantage’) for the firm if it can get a reliable new product into the market and build brand loyalty before its competitors

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