The integration of design and manufacturing operations within the firm has been much discussed, particularly with respect to the development of a concurrent engineering approach to product development. Where product development activities occur between firms, the issue of design and manufacturing integration is less well developed. The notion of networked firms and partnership development requires consideration of how product development activities will be managed in the future. The outsourcing of design and manufacturing is becoming prevalent. Firms are involving their suppliers in both design and manufacturing. The need for cross-functional inputs necessitates consideration of how coordination and integration can be sustained across this inter-firm relationship. This article proposes a typology of inter-firm mechanisms, which firms are using to integrate design and manufacturing operations in product development. It is based on a review of literature on design-manufacturing integration at the inter-firm level
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