Global Production Networks

We offer approaches, solutions, and the latest research results to address your challenges in the field of global production.
"Think global, act local... or global? Focussing on the plant-level and advancing local skills and know-how, or developing a global production network that integrates globally dispersed sites: Contradicting challenges and incompatible tasks?"
Managing global production is more than optimizing single sites. It is about unlocking the potentials of the whole production network. International studies show that improving the network structure offers significantly higher returns than optimizing individual sites. A fit between global production strategy, network configuration and network coordination is the key-prerequisite for a well-organized production network. Our science-based and practice-proven production network management approach builds the basis of many companies’ global production activities.

Learn more about working with us in the field of Global Production Networks

Consulting Projects – Advance your production network

Our science-based production network management approach provides the tools and methods for all our consulting projects. It has proven its usefulness and applicability in our assessment and optimization of more than 65 production networks. We first published our approach in 2014 (Read more about our book) and have been enhancing it with every project since then.

Our experts and consultants are keen to apply their experience from research and practice projects to your production network. You may profit from their knowledge through our standardized and free production network quick-check or more detailed assessments, benchmarks, and tailored workshops. In an individual project, we guide you through your global production strategy elaboration, your production set-up configuration, and your coordination of dispersed production sites towards effective and efficient network management.

Read more about our consulting projects in the area of production networks.

Benchmarking Projects – Compare yourself to others and learn from the best

Our proven benchmarking process supports you and your company in identifying improvement potentials in the fields of global production management, digitalization of manufacturing and operations management in general. Together with other companies, you constitute a consortium that defines the exact topic and benchmarking questions according to your needs.

We organize the whole process including questionnaire design, survey evaluation and site visits at successful practices. Thereby you learn in a practice-driven and scientifically-validated way how others succeeded in solving your problems.

A benchmarking project often leads to a focus group where companies exchange on a specific topic like, for example, Industry 4.0. We organize and moderate the structured exchange so that all participants learn from each other.

Read more about our benchmarking projects and focus groups.

Research Projects – Develop innovative approaches and solutions with us

As a university institute, we are not only eager to contribute to real-world applications in companies but also to advance the scientific frontier. However, since our research focus is on global production networks, we collaborate with such companies for research purposes as well.

Both industrial companies and public organizations fund our research projects. In general, these projects do not directly generate additional revenue or cost savings for collaborating companies. Instead, they support them in understanding their decisions in a better way and in laying the groundwork for future initiatives and optimizations. Take the chance to shape the future of global production networks together with us.

Read more about our research projects in collaboration with industry.


News & Projects

View all our news and projects in our archive.

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”. 

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?

Procurement Synergies
For the last six months, we supported an aviation company in unlocking synergies among the procurement departments of several of its legal entities. Main results were some quick-wins concerning shared suppliers and a new organizational structure for future business.

Our Team

Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli
Professor of Production Management

Director ITEM

Division Production Management

Dominik Remling
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Philipp Miedler
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Ferdinand Deitermann
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Jens Kaiser
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Fabian Specht
Fabian Specht
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Benedikt Saretz
Research Associate & PhD Candidate

Global Production Networks Newsletter

The Global Production Networks newsletter provides you occasionally with the latest information about our research topics and upcoming projects.

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