To profit from cost differences, growth opportunities in emerging markets, lower transaction costs, and fewer trade barriers, manufacturing companies have strongly driven their internationalization efforts over recent decades. However, uncertainties caused by shifting economic forces, conservative winds, and protectionism as well as events such as the COVID-19 pandemic reveal the strong vulnerability of International Manufacturing Networks. Consequently, companies are reevaluating their optimization efforts of often opposing target dimensions such as efficiency, flexibility, time, and quality. Based on a benchmarking study conducted in 2020, this chapter systematically examines today’s business environment of International Manufacturing Networks and its implications on the management of those networks for practitioners.
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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
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.
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.
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
The topic of the 2023 conference is "The Future of Global Manufacturing and the Role of Europe: Pathways to Sustainable Competitiveness".
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.
Division Production Management
From customer solutions to value-based pricing models.
We want to enable a structured exchange on digitalization in manufacturing companies in-between managers and experts from practice and science.
Objective of this Innosuisse project is to design, develop and implement a data and corporate strategy based manufacturing network dashboard which supports in strategic decisions.
Discuss the excellence journey of your lab operations on a new level
We analyze the state of the Swiss manufacturing industry regarding trends in production and especially their attitude and activities in off- or re-shoring operations.
Can we predict adverse regulatory inspection outcomes for you?
Kaiser, J., & Remling, D. (2021). Managing International Manufacturing Networks in Today’s Business Environment. In Global Manufacturing Management (pp. 63–76). Springer, Cham.
Verhaelen, B., Kaiser, J., Remling, D., Peukert, S., Lanza, G., & Friedli, T. (2022). Standortspezifische Leistungsziele in globalen Produktionsnetzwerken - Empirische Erkenntnisse aus einer internationalen Benchmarking-Studie. Controlling : Zeitschrift für erfolgsorientierte Unternehmenssteuerung. (2).
Die Steuerung global verteilter Produktionsstandorte erfolgt in der Praxis häufig über jährlich vorgegebene, prozentuale Verbesserungen von Produktivitätskennzahlen aus der Unternehmenszentrale ohne Beachtung des standortspezifischen Kontextes. In diesem Artikel werden Standortrollen, geeignete Steuerungstypen und Kennzahlen analysiert, um das Potenzial internationaler Standorte besser auszuschöpfen.
Kaiser, J., Saretz, B., & Friedli, T. (2022). Strategic site reasons re-visited, digging deeper in the rationale of global manufacturing networks: An empirical study from a headquarters perspective. In Proceedings of the 6th World Conference on Production and Operations Management. P & OM 2022 (pp. 364–373). [Nagoya]: [Japanese Operations Management and Strategy Association].
The site role concept developed by Ferdows and empirically tested by Vereecke et al. discusses the specific advantages of globally distributed manufacturing plants. It conceptualizes the primary reasons for manufacturing sites to exist–the strategic site reasons. This article presents the results of a multiple case study further examining the reasons to establish a site, the sites' main advantage today, and related contingency factors. The findings show that the main reasons to establish or acquire a manufacturing site are access to low-cost labor, new technologies, and reliable transportation. The most stable reason over time is access to skills and know-how.
Production Management Division
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