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Exploratory analysis of the variables prevailing on the effects of product modularization on production volume and efficiency

Luziane Machado Barbosa, Daniel Pacheco Lacerda, Fabio Antonio Sartori Piran and Aline Dresch

International Journal of Production Economics, 2017, vol. 193, issue C, 677-690

Abstract: Product modularization is considered a strategic alternative supporting companies in their search for competitive advantages. Such advantages are acceleration of product development process, increase in the variety of products and improved operational performance. However, there are few studies verifying and quantifying the effects of product modularization on the performance of companies. This research, through a case study, aims at identifying and comparing variables influencing most effects of product modularization on production volume and efficiency of a bus manufacturer. To achieve such a purpose, a longitudinal analysis of Product Engineering and Production Process indicators was performed considering products before and after modularization. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) were used as analytical methods. Among the main results, the variables that influenced most increase in efficiency after product modularization resulted from strategic decisions made during the modularization process. Among these decisions, the most important are standardization of modules, rationalization of resources and specialization of tasks. Variables related to physical resources outweighed effects on production volume and efficiency for products before modularization. However, after product modularization, variables related to strategic resources begin to prevail.

Keywords: Modularization; Modularity; Efficiency; Effects of modularization; Data envelopment analysis; Artificial neural network (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:193:y:2017:i:c:p:677-690