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Digital solutions to support collaborative designs with suppliers

Supervisor Name : Marie-Anne Le Dain & Lilia Gzara (laboratoire G-SCOP), Valery Merminod (laboratoire CERAG)
Doctoral School : IMEP-2
Start Date : october 2015
Financing - Context - Partnerships : IMEP2 a research grant is requested

Positioning and Challenges  :

Suppliers play an increasing role in New Product Development (NPD) activities, contributing to the added value of several product components or also to the global finished product thanks to their competences, knowledge and technology. Supplier involvement in NPD can take the form of a variety of configurations: the simple consultation of suppliers about customer design ideas (white box), the joint development of an outsourced product (grey box), or delegation to the supplier of full design responsibility for an outsourced product (black box). Considering this context, the NPD becomes increasingly a matter of collaboration between the internal NPD staff of the company and their suppliers. However, in this collaboration, there are boundaries, difficulties and limits. One of them is the difficulty to maintain integration of information and shared knowledge between partners, in an inter-organizational context. Given such boundaries, ICT aim to propose solutions to support knowledge sharing and participate to NPD performance. However, there is a lack of research on this issue, especially an need to better understand the potential contribution of ICT to support NPD activities in the supplier involvement context. This research project focuses on the use of ICT for information integration and knowledge sharing.

The aim of this PhD is to define requirements regarding ICT solutions to enhance performance within each collaboration form (white box, grey box, black box) and then to deploy improvements in existing solutions, in collaboration with industrial partners.

Expected results are :

  • Performing a state of the art on ICT solutions to support customer-supplier collaboration during Product-Service Systems development process
  • Analyzing effective use of ICT solutions in companies (customers and suppliers) in order to identify their contribution and limits
  • Analyzing their impact on the performance of each collaboration form
  • Analyzing requirements regarding ICT solutions in order to support particular features of each collaboration form
  • Proposing improvements ways and deploying them within one (or more) industrial partner(s) 

This PhD thesis is included in a more wide research project developed in collaboration with the University of Rio Grande in Brazil (Associate Prof. Alejandro G. Frank).


Marie-Anne Le Dain, Maître de conférences,
Grenoble INP - laboratoire G-SCOP,

Lilia Gzara, Maître de conférences (HDR),
Grenoble INP - laboratoire G-SCOP,

Valery Merminod, Maître de conférences,
IAE Grenoble – Laboratoire CERAG,

Date of update May 7, 2015


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