As companies are pressured to reduce costs and lead-times while increasing variety, the need to design products based on common platform “elements” is growing. Product family design has become an effective strategy to meet this challenge, but companies still struggle with assessing how “good” their product family is. Companies routinely benchmark their individual products, but they struggle with how to benchmark their platforms and product families against their competitors. A novel approach for product family benchmarking is introduced in this paper integrating commonality and variety indices to compare competing product families and their platform “elements”. An example involving two families of men’s razors is presented to illustrate the approach. Limitations of the approach and future work are also discussed.

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