Customer-oriented trend in steel and pulp/paper industries : an investigation of the information and communication flow in product development projects

Sammanfattning: Organization of product development projects is today at focus in many organizations. In process industries, like steel and pulp/paper, process and product development are seen as an integrated part. Product development has often been the result of a process development. Heavy investments and costly production give process a priority role in product development. There are indications in the study that steel and pulp/paper industries are headed towards a more customer-oriented approach in product development projects. Information from both internal functions as marketing and external actors as customers are of importance. However, there is a need of a more systematic approach to handle the communication and information flow in product development projects. Interfaces between R&D, marketing and other functions should be strengthening with suitable integrating mechanism. The thesis consists of a frame of reference and four appended papers. The main work is based on case studies at four companies dealing with steel or paper products.

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