Fhe Inc

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A Case Study
FHE Inc.

Operations Management

FHE Inc.

Problem Statement

FHE Inc., a manufacturer of pumps and related fluid-handling equipment is reviewing the process used to introduce new products.

Key Considerations

It was stated in the case that this case was prepared as basis for class discussion, not to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. All information stated in this case analysis was taken from the Operations Management Book, authored by Roger G. Schroeder 3rd Edition.


1. What steps should Donaldson take to improve the new-product development process at FHE?

The steps necessary the Donaldson should take to improve the new product development process at FHE is to shift from the traditional sequential “over-the-wall” process of the new product development to concurrent process.

The sequential process often results in product misalignment. Sequential process is a traditional approach where processes are done in stages or steps shown in the figure below. Product misalignment occurs when problems occur during the new product development (i.e. the manufacturing department cannot make what the engineering department specifies due to technology limitations.)

The concurrent process shows a simultaneous development process where all functions of the marketing, engineering and operations are involved from beginning to the final stage of product launch. In the first stage, marketing has a major effort but other functions also have a role. During the product design phase, marketing reduces its effort but not to zero, while engineering has the major role. Finally, operations picks up the lead as the new product is tested and launched into the market. Concurrent process is shown below:

2. What could be done to clarify the organizational relationship between product managers, technical program managers and manufacturing managers?

To clarify the organizational...
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