Product-process-supply chain: An integrative approach to three-dimensional concurrent engineering

Lisa M. Ellram, Wendy L. Tate, Craig R. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Purpose - The primary purposes of this paper are to add support to the existing three-dimensional concurrent engineering (3DCE) theoretical framework and to identify issues that currently hinder the adoption of 3DCE. Design/methodology/approach - While 3DCE has been suggested as a way to improve new product development success and supply chain performance, the research on 3DCE is in its infancy, largely conceptual, or based on two, rather than all three aspects of 3DCE. To help bridge the gap between concept and theory for 3DCE, this paper provides a cross-disciplinary perspective, incorporating literature from supply chain management (SCM) and logistics, operations management, marketing channels, and general management and strategy, to help ground the theory of 3DCE. Based on this literature, testable research propositions are developed. Findings - Based on the review of the literature, there is substantial theoretical grounding for 3DCE and evidence that it should provide beneficial outcomes to organizations. 3DCE is also a very useful theoretical lens as researchers become more concerned with taking a systemic view of supply chain and organizational performance. Effectively using 3DCE as a lens may require different research approaches, such as systems dynamics and supply chain mapping. Practical implications - This research provides insights into the relatively low adoption rates of 3DCE in practice. Successful 3DCE requires top management support as well as functional support. It is not simply a SCM tool. Originality/value - From a research perspective, this paper helps provide support for using 3DCE as a theoretical lens for grounding future research. It also provides an insight into research methods that might be most useful in gaining greater understanding of 3DCE practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-330
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • New products
  • Product development
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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