Compiled ByTonya Vinas European manufacturers will be investing more in technology tools that foster collaboration in new product development, according to a survey of senior executives by Accenture. The consulting firm surveyed leaders at 100 companies in the automotive, high-tech, aerospace and engineering sectors in seven European countries. The survey shows that in the short term, the use of online management tools will grow fastest among Internet-enabled tools that foster collaboration on new product development. Only 14% of respondents report using such tools, though 67% report they intend to implement them within the next three years. Other technologies the Europeans plan to implement include those that allow sharing of documents and those that improve internal and external communication. Web conferencing also is expected to increase. Accenture identified three sets of companies among those reviewed:
- Innovators (14%) consider collaborative product design a priority for their business.
- Fast Followers (53%) have launched a collaborative productive design initiative along with other Internet initiatives.
- Cautious Companies (33%) have not launched a collaborative design initiative.