Organisation faced with competitive market pressures and those that are looking at sustaining their market position may adopt collaborative product design as a strategy to improve quality, increase market share, increase efficiencies and reduce the time to market for their products. Conversely, in a design environment engineering changes are unavoidable and need to be effectively coordinated because they may become costly for a company in product recalls and reputational damage. They can however be viewed as a cost benefit as contributors to optimisation of product quality.
In this study, engineering changes were examined as enablers to collaborative product design where the study was undertaken in the land systems sector of defence in South Africa. The sector is faced with defence cuts resulting in direct and indirect job losses across the supply chain. An exploratory study was conducted where the constraints to design performance were evaluated. The applicability of the data and process orientated information exchange models were explored on the extent they influence the speed of engineering changes. The outcome was a model that can be used as an evaluation and decision making tool for companies conducting collaborative strategy with emphasis on engineering changes and information flow.