Open Access
Jain, Avanti
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Timothy William Simpson, Thesis Advisor
  • Product Line Commonality Index (PCI)
  • Design Structure Matrix (DSM)
  • Bill of Materials (BOM)
  • Benchmarking
  • Dissection
  • Product Family
  • Generational Variety Index (GVI)
  • Market Segmentation Grid
As global markets saturate and competition intensifies, many manufacturers are focusing on benchmarking families of products alongside individual products to gain valuable insight and strategic advantage over their competitors. Benchmarking a single product is a human-intensive and time-consuming process; benchmarking product families greatly multiplies the complexity of this process. Product dissection (or teardown) is a widely used technique to benchmark (and sometimes reverse engineer) competitors’ products. While methods have been proposed for product family dissection and benchmarking, a major problem is the way in which data is collected. Additionally, published literature on product family dissection and benchmarking is rather sparse. This work introduces a novel systematic process for dissecting and benchmarking product families that helps gather product family data in its entirety. The process combines several popular tools to streamline and standardize the process of product family dissection and benchmarking. The tools integrated in the proposed process include: Bill of Materials (BOM), Design Structure Matrix (DSM), Clustering, Product Line Commonality Index (PCI), Generational Variety Index (GVI), and Market Segmentation Grid. The process focuses on obtaining a holistic view of benchmarked families with regards to product family architecture including modules and interfaces, commonality (and indirectly cost) and variety, flexibility to adapt to future market requirements, and market segmentation evaluation. The process is demonstrated using a family of the Durabuilt cordless power tools. Furthermore, a case study is presented where the proposed process is applied to benchmark a set of power tools in order to develop an enhanced product family. The results and conclusions from the case study are discussed in detail along with limitations of the proposed process. This research will help companies keep pace with the latest technologies and survive global competition by the means of systematic benchmarking.