Lessons from Using Supplier Guest Engineers in the Automotive Industry

David Twigg, Nigel Slack

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper examines the role of supplier guest engineers in the development of new products within the UK automotive industry. Guest engineers are technical specialists who reside for a period of time within the vehicle manufacturer—in either a design or a production engineering role. The paper draws upon data from two studies of supplier involvement in automotive product development. It reports on the roles and responsibilities of these supplier engineers and presents a number of lessons that can be learned by vehicle manufacturer and supplier when employing this form of inter-firm coordination mechanism. The findings indicate that a variety of roles exist, at different phases of the product development process. Tour provisional types of guest engineer have been identified from in-depth interviews with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. The recognition of these different roles is important for suppliers involved in or proposing closer cooperation in product development, since each alters the type of relationship and expectations of both parties.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-192
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Research and Applications
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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