This paper describes challenges faced by companies that form partnership with global suppliers in developing an integrated product. Many experts agree that concurrent product development (CPD) across the supply chain is the next significant challenge in design for manufacturability. Effective management of this process is a key to achieve superior time-to-market and life cycle quality. Drawing on a recent Global Supply Chain Seminar at Stanford, the paper first surveys the challenges faced by various companies ranging from electronics and automotive to aircraft engines. From the survey emerges some key and common issues that these, companies face: cultural barriers, product definition and joint product development practices. The paper then identifies the need for a systematic tool to achieve robust development strategies under uncertainties associated with global partnerships. A proposed robust development approach includes strategies such as key tuning parameters and functional redundancies. The paper concludes by presenting an idealized CPD process and future research agenda.

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