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Keywords:

  • SUPPLY CHAINS;
  • NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT;
  • INTEGRATION;
  • OUTSOURCING;
  • ORGANIZATION DESIGN

Using case study data, we describe how a large personal computer manufacturer changed its supply-chain management strategy after outsourcing the majority of its design and manufacturing activities to a network of focused suppliers. To cope with this new structure, the firm created highly skilled generalists, “supply-chain integrators,” who coordinate product development, marketing, production, and logistics from product concept to delivery across firm boundaries. We particularly focus on the skill-set that characterizes these integrators. Finally, we use the case evidence, combined with previous theory, to suggest a specific program of research into coordinating product development across disaggregated supply chains.