Global Production Networks


We offer approaches, solutions and the latest research results to your challenges in the field of global manufacturing.


"Think global, act local... or global? Focus on the site level and advance local skills and know-how, develop a global manufacturing network integrating globally dispersed sites: Contradicting challenges and incompatible tasks?"


Managing global operations is no longer a matter of optimising single sites but optimising the entire manufacturing network. International studies show that optimising the network structure offers significantly higher potential than optimising single sites. To reach an optimal set-up of a global manufacturing network, a fit between strategy, configuration and coordination of the network has to be reached. Our area of expertise is the connection of research and industry.


How to work with us in the field of Global Production Management

Consulting Project – Raise the potential in your manufacturing network

Our scientifically developed management approach (see details in section Network Optimization) identifies and leverages optimisation potential within your manufacturing network. Experts from our institute bring in their in-depth expertise and experience in project work to guide you through production strategy elaboration, production set-up configuration and the coordination of nationally or globally dispersed production plants. More than 60 successfully completed projects comprised manufacturing networks from three plants to more than 50 plants of either entire companies, business units, or product segments. Use our support on the way to effective and efficient manufacturing network management.


If you want to learn more about our mangement approach or already successfully implemented industry projects, follow this Link!

Benchmarking Project – Compare yourself with others and learn from the best

Benchmarking is a management method that uses targeted comparisons among several companies to identify the best as a reference for performance optimization. To do so, it is necessary to identify, understand and adapt to best practices by comparing and integrating them into one's own situation. These projects provide meaningful studies that give overview of the status regarding specific topics of the participating companies and how you compare to it. Our approach also involves visits to such companies with particularly successful solutions. Often, our benchmarkings generate continuing partnerships in the form of focus groups in order to exchange ideas continuously. Take advantage of our established benchmarking approach and industry contacts to compete with the best.


For more details, follow this Link

Research Project – Develop with us new approaches that apply to your company

Work with us and up to four other business partners on the topics of the future. The aim of these projects is to solve challenges of a company in collaboration with us and to provide the embedding of the specific challenge in a company-wide overall context. Our role is to apply for funding, search for cooperation partners as well as to organize and conduct the project.


Follow this Link  if you want to find out more about our research projects!



Benchmarking: Digital Manufacturing Networks

We want to examine approaches to implement and operate Manufacturing Execution Systems for manufacturing operations management globally across plants in order to develop an agile and resilient manufacturing network based on digital technologies and Industry 4.0.

New contributions in EurOMA ’19 conference proceedings

Two of our research associates took part at this year’s EurOMA conference in Helsinki. Christian Elbe presented the topic of “Manufacturing execution systems in international manufacturing networks” and Dominik Remling the topic of “Digital Technologies to coordinate manufacturing networks”. 

Unlock Procurement Synergies

During the last months we had the opportunity to work together with an aircraft component manufacturer. The aim was to strengthen the cooperation between 3 plants from different countries and to benefit from existing synergies.

Digital Technologies - Evolution of Production in High-Wage Countries

Digitalization and the application of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, smart robotics, augmented reality or big data are progressing steadily. In particular, companies with plants in countries such as Germany or Switzerland are expecting new productivity gains and a positive impact on the competiveness of their high-wage locations. But which technologies are really relevant? What collaborations are important and what are the overall benefits of digitization?

Our Team

Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli
Professor of Production Management

Director ITEM

Division Production Management

Michael Wiech
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Christian Elbe
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Dominik Remling
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Philipp Miedler
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Ferdinand Deitermann
Research Associate & PhD