Production Management

Prof. Thomas Friedli


Our Vision

We support industrial organizations in multiple sectors and regions in their strategic planning and implementation of improvement initiatives.
The division of Production Management offers industrial organizations both industry and functional expertise, consulting and benchmarking competencies, and academic research from a single source. In close cooperation with each client, our experienced team of managers, consultants, and academics produces tangible and positive results. Find out how you can benefit most from our services below and follow us on LinkedIn for updates.


Find all news articles in our archive.

Production Management
The Swiss Manufacturing Survey 2023 is now available!

In collaboration with our research partner, ETH Zurich, we conducted the 7th Swiss Manufacturing Survey with a record-breaking 379 companies to gain a deeper understanding of the Swiss manufacturing landscape

1. Joint Meeting of our Innosuisse Project: Ecosystem-Based Steering of Global Production Networks

On July 4th, 2023, we, together with our partners,held the first joint meeting of our Innosuisse-funded project Ecosystem Based Steering of Global Production Networks. 

Final Presentation of Our Innosuisse Project: Triple R - Resilience, Robustness, and Responsiveness for GPNs

On May 17th, 2023 we, together with our partners, held the final presentation of our Innosuisse-funded project Triple R - Resilience, Robustness, and Responsivenss for Global Production Networks. We are happy to finish another successful resarch project. 

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Global Production Academy 2023: Site Visit at Julius Blum GmbH

After our joint Kickoff at the KIT in Karlsruhe we had our first site visit at Julius Blum GmbH in Austria directly at the Lake Constance. BLUM is an international manufacturer of furniture hardware and has therefore highly automated processes at its production facilities worldwide. With it's 8 sites in Vorarlberg (Austria) it was really impressive to see how a global company, being active in more than 120 countries, can run its major production cost efficiently in Central Europe.

In joint discussion rounds with our consortium together with CLAAS, FACC, HOMAG, MTU Aero Engines, Balluff, PERI, Miele, our host BLUM and our research partner the wbk Institute of Production Science (wbk-KIT) we could collect and define valuable successful practices  under the topic of Centralization vs. Autonomy in Global Production Networks.

Our Focus Areas

Global Production
Jens Kaiser | Fabian Specht | Benedikt Saretz | Karl Schalm


Managing global production is more than optimizing single sites. It is about unlocking the potentials of the whole production network. Our integrated approach supports production companies in aligning their network configuration and coordination with their global production strategy. We offer a wide range of tools and methods ranging from a free production network quick-check to individual assessments, benchmarks, and optimization projects.
Contact: Jens Kaiser
Smart Manufacturing & Services
Dr. Lukas Budde | Daniel Wörner | Jean Paul Potthoff | Moritz Häussler
Growing product commoditization, more complex customer needs and digitalization drive manufacturing companies to increasingly shift to service-oriented business models. Our research activities and industry collaborations provide new and actionable insights on how to leverage smart services that are based on digitalized products and production processes.
Operational Excellence
Mark Grothkopp | Matteo Bernasconi| Gian-Andri Steiger | Lorenzo Pirrone | Fabian Klinkner | Jessica Helbling
Research and industry projects in over 10 years enabled us to build an extensive knowledge base on how to support companies on their journey to Operational Excellence. We have the world’s largest independent Operational Excellence Pharma benchmarking database. The close collaboration with our industry partners leads to customised solutions and actionable project outcomes. Join us at our workshops to get the latest insights or read about the results of our FDA Quality Metrics Research.
Swiss Manufacturing Survey and Award
Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli | Fabian Specht | Moritz Häussler
In 2017 we launched our annual survey for the first time to analyze the prevailing situation of the Swiss manufacturing sector. Since then, each edition has added more insights into structural changes in the manufacturing landscape. Moreover, each version has shown challenges and opportunities for manufacturing in Switzerland as well as how they develop in the long run. In 2019 we additionally launched the Swiss Manufacturing Award to honor one company, which has outstandingly contributed to manufacturing in Switzerland, every year.
St. Gallen Production Management Conference
Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli | Benedikt Saretz | Fabian Klinkner
 Please note, the main conference language is German.

The topic of the 2023 conference is "The Future of Global Manufacturing and the Role of Europe: Pathways to Sustainable Competitiveness​".

The target group of the conference are managing directors, plant and production managers as well as managers from production-related areas of industrial companies. The conference will take place on 17th and 18th October 2023 at the Hotel Einstein Congress in St. Gallen. 

CAS Production Management

In the course of increasing digitalization, production faces new opportunities and challenges. New skills and methods must complement existing experience. This CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) transports the latest findings in the field of production management into operational practice. The course is held in collaboration with HSR Rapperswil. Course language is German.


Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli
Professor of Production Management

Director ITEM

Division Production Management

Foto Michael Vejmola
Michael Vejmola
Personal Assistant to Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli
Dr. Lukas Budde
Project Leader
Mark Grothkopp
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Jens Kaiser
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Gian-Andri Steiger
Research Associate & PHD Candidate
Bewerbungsbild MBE
Matteo Bernasconi
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Daniel Wörner
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Fabian Specht
Fabian Specht
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Benedikt Saretz
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Lorenzo Pirrone
Lorenzo Pirrone
Research Associate & PHD Candidate
Potthoff_Bild - Kopie
Jean Paul Potthoff
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Foto_Karl Schalm
Karl Gerhard Schalm
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Fabian Klinkner
Fabian Klinkner
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Moritz Häussler
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Jessica Helbling
Research Associate & PhD Candidate

Selected Publications

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Please do not hesitate to contact us via phone, email or in person. You can find us in the ZIG-building on the ground floor level.

Production Management Division

Dufourstrasse 40a

9000 St.Gallen

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