For every organization, an efficient and effective product development process is a key to generate and manage growth opportunities. Often strategic relationships with key suppliers and partners are required as organizations do not have all the competencies that are crucial to the development of a product. This is particularly true for Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) and Joint Development Manufacturer (JDM) supplier relationships, which are characterized by a high degree of supplier involvement in every stage of product development. If the interactions with these key suppliers are not managed properly, there is significant risk that the endeavor will end up with missing budget, schedule and cost goals, particularly for complex systems. Little attention in the literature, however, has been given to the risk introduced by suppliers into the product development process nor mitigating this risk through appropriate design strategies. This thesis addresses the need to develop a risk assessment methodology that would not only identify areas of concern but also identify potential design strategies to mitigate risk. In this work, metrics are derived to quantify the relative importance, degree of change, difficulty of change and degree of coupling for engineering metrics at system and subsystem levels. From these metrics, a framework is developed to quantitatively assess the risk due to supplier interactions. In addition, design strategies identified in the literature are characterized in terms of these same metrics to determine the design strategy which is most suited to mitigate the risk associated with a particular EM. Finally, a case study is presented for the hypothetical development of a 3D printer, to assess initial feasibility and utility of the framework.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial and Systems Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


Marcos Esterman

Advisor/Committee Member

Katie McConky

SPalekarSupplement.xlsx (887 kB)


RIT – Main Campus