A vast body of research has described product platforms as strategic enablers for increased business competitiveness, but there is a lack of empirical research describing what types of assets that are used in industry as elements in a platform. Previous research has suggested a platform as a “collection of assets shared by a group of products” and also classified these assets into four transdisciplinary categories: Components, Processes, Knowledge and People and Relationships. This categorization is, however, too imprecise to identify the core assets needed to build a platform, and better guidance is needed. This paper presents a cross-case study of assets used in the product development process at two case companies. These represent two different product disciplines: Industrialized housebuilding, a sector within the construction trade, and Outdoor Power Equipment producing forest and gardening tools. The main contribution of the paper is a comparison of what formal and informal design assets that are used in the two disciplines.
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