"Faster lead times and better profitability for customer order driven companies"

- My research will lead to increased efficiency, faster lead times and better profitability for companies with customer order driven production and design.

This is according to Samuel André, who recently defended and got his doctoral thesis approved at School of Engineering in Jönköping.

Samuel André's doctoral thesis is called “The Design Platform Approach - Enabling Platform-Based Development in the Engineer-to-Order Industry”. It is about how subcontractors describe the results of their technology development and how these techniques can be used to support customer customization and build a product platform.

"Must meet their customers' requirements"

- Companies with customer order driven production, so-called ETO companies (Engineer To Order) have to meet their customers' requirements more or less completely in order to sell any products at all. In addition, engineering work is required for each order, says Samuel André.

These companies must have processes that make them flexible, he points out, because it will be difficult for them to standardize the product range in order to streamline operations. ETO companies don´t have the luxury of not giving the customer exactly what they want. Instead, they are forced to develop customized products for their customers every time, which, compared to other sectors, should be able to be streamlined, argues Samuel André.

- When the transaction takes place between two companies where one is a car manufacturer who buys a driver's seat, then the company that develops and manufactures the driver's seat must adapt to the car manufacturer's requirements. Otherwise, another chair manufacturer gets the assignment.

Strengthen corporate production

Samuel André explains that his thesis contains a model and method for strengthening the production and design of the ETO companies. Product platforms are a way to reach more customer groups with less development effort and more efficient production equipment. However, product platforms have been difficult to apply to customer-controlled companies.

- This thesis describes how it is possible to work more platform-based in these types of companies and thus increase their efficiency, which can lead to faster lead times and better profitability, says Samuel André.

There are also parts of the thesis that can be advantageous for other types of companies, he mentions.

Identify problems

Samuel André describes the doctoral year as very rewarding and fun.

- It is a job with a lot of freedom, creativity and many challenges. The main challenge has been to identify the general problems that companies have and to propose general solutions to them. The most fun has been to have time to write different publications and then present them in journals or at research conferences.

"Makes you impatient"

What he looked forward to most with his dissertation was to finally be done.

- The last time as a doctoral student there is a lot of quality control and waiting, which makes you impatient.

He thinks that the dissertation went well and that it was interesting to hear other angles and questions about his research that he had not thought of.

- The opponent could have made it more complicated for me if he had wanted to and I felt that I could discuss all the issues that came up, says Samuel André.

Employed at Husqvarna

Samuel André has been employed by Husqvarna Group for two years, where he works with the next generation Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems and product platforms. He is part of a small group that has a global responsibility for creating models and processes for how product information should flow through the business so that products can be developed, produced and delivered efficiently and correctly.

- I will continue within the Husqvarna Group and will hopefully keep in touch with Jönköping University through research projects, says Samuel André.

Read the thesis here

For more information, contact Samuel André: samuel.andre@husqvarnagroup.com, 070-333 86 36.