Is standardised product design always better?

Maud Van den Broeke

Maud Van den Broeke

What was my dream when I was little?

I always wanted to start a production company.

What am I doing when I am not working on my PhD?

When I’m not working on my PhD, I enjoy time with family and friends.

What is my PhD about?

My study aims to assess the impact of platform-based product development, seen as using a common component or system base from which several products are derived.

Why is this important for practice?

To succeed in today’s competitive markets with higher product differentiation requirements by customers, companies look for ways to cost-efficiently offer product variety and flexibility. The concept of platform-based product development is a huge leap forward to achieve this goal.

How do I like to be remembered after my PhD?

As a researcher who, thanks to her academic insights in platforms and supply chain, brings relevant contribution to companies.

How do I see my future?

I aim to extend my knowledge, while experiencing business reality.

Want to know more about Maud?

Maud is currently professor at IÉSEG School of Management, France.
Check out her cv page.
Read the article: Standardisation is not always cheaper

Kristof Deneire, Supply Chain Manager, Barco Healthcare

What convinced you to take part in this PhD research?

Within Barco Healthcare we use the platform approach. The division develops and produces medical screens – monitors that are used for radiology, mammography, operations and dentistry, among other things. In just the same way that a car manufacturer has various models and variations – big and small, slow and fast – we have big and small screens, with high and low resolution, colour and greyscale monitors etc. When we develop these different screens, we try to reuse as much of the electronics as possible. The question for us is: how many types of printed circuit board assemblies or electrical diagrams do we have to develop to yield the benefits of reuse? This PhD helped us to find an answer to this question.

Why is this research relevant to your company?

The biggest benefit of this research that it succeeded in translating a discussion which may otherwise have remained philosophical and subjective into euros, allowing us to reach better substantiated, objective decisions.

How did you apply the research results in your company?

In our industry, the main driver for product development seems to be technological change. With technology evolving so quickly nowadays, it is best to get your new products to market as quickly as possible. The model developed in this PhD can help us do that. When we for instance considered basing a new product line on a combination of two platforms, the model advised us not to, as the simulations indicated that it would not make financial sense.

Listen to the testimony of Jan de Witte, CEO of Barco, to learn more about what collaborating with Vlerick can add to your business

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