Nissan COGENT supplier co-development case study

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Imam Ali Tahir                                                    



2-Key theoretical points


4-Nissan COGENT


6-Future trends


8-list of reference


Nissan Motor Company Ltd, established in 1933, is a well-known brand in manufacturing cars of today’s automobile industry, with its headquarters in Japan. Their main products include, automobiles, outboard motors and forklift trucks. Nissan used to market their autos under the brand name of Datsun which is a renowned car manufacturer. It is affiliated with Renault S.A. which holds its 45% of shares while Nissan has 15% of Renaults shares. It’s listed in the top 3 auto manufacturers in Asia. It also owns the luxury brand called Infinity. With revenue of over $93 billion (2008) and operating income of over$1.5 billion (2008) it’s one of the biggest automaker in the market. It has over 2 hundred thousand employees with a determination of constant improvement


 In today’s global manufacturing market, there is a need for shorter product development cycles and tighter affordable business structures. It is therefore necessary to achieve ‘right first time’ and ‘on time’ designs. Any unplanned or additional design effort or late design changes can have serious consequences on the timing, quality or costing of a development program.  and  estimated that the suppliers account for 30 percent of the quality problems and 80 percent of the product lead time problems.  reported that an automotive assembler could reduce the engineering hours and lead time required for new model development by delegating part or the entire engineering responsibility to selected suppliers Also with the trend for using  ‘full service suppliers’  (i.e. suppliers who take full responsibility for all aspects of sub-system design, manufacture, program management and warranty) , close alignment and integration of the manufacturers with their suppliers at all stages in a development program are critical to meeting overall project objectives. (Southey Et all, 2000)


Early Supplier Involvement (ESI) is a means of integrating supplier’s capabilities in the buying firm’s supply chain system and operations (Dowlatshahi, 1998). Reduced cost, improved quality and design for manufacturability are the beneficial outcomes of early supplier involvement (Liker et al.) together also with greater customer satisfaction due to improved product performance.


It is also important to achieve Proper Timing of market entry with a new product. Earny et Al (2005) cited that late entry is a drawback to gain good market share and sometimes the firm doesn’t get good market and has to withdraw because of being late.

(Dowlatshahi, 1999) developed a model for ESI which encompasses four components, including design, procurement, supplier and manufacturing. However the component of design is now focused more on process-development projects rather than on product development projects.

Because the four components of ESI are interrelated to one another, some of the tasks are performed with aid from other components and to form a seamless integrated supply chain information should flow freely between each component.

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Regarding the identification of suppliers, product development emphasizes more on the identification of suppliers. In process development, emphasis is placed both on identifying important technology as well as important suppliers. The selection of suppliers for process development should place greater emphasis on the technical capability of the suppliers.

Below is a model by Jiao et al( 2008)  which compares ESI implementation with focus on product development and process development.


Supplier selection criteria for process development have to emphasize more on technology capability of the supplier rather than total cost of ownership. Even though a supplier ...

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