Consortial benchmark (2016)
"Design of excellent global production networks"


This page provides a summary of the results of the consortial benchmark “Design of excellent global production networks" of the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University in a practical manual. For this purpose, the results of the benchmarking study were elaborated by the experiences of the successful practice company visits. Within the project a total of more than 50 specialists and executives have been consulted.

The central maxims and benchmarks for the successful design of global production networks are summarized below:

Design maximBenchmark
Companies with excellent production networks ...
...produce close to where their customers are.Network design starts with the comprehension of the market situation.
...make use of economies of scale and focus skills in selected locations.Development of centers of competence and strict cost-based component facilities.
...pursue a clear value stream orientation starting by the factory planning as well as in the network.Value stream design is the first milestone in the factory planning process.
...establish a stringent decision-making process in the organizational and operational structure.Central area, sales and capacity planning across location and departments.
…design their network fast and agile according to their core competencies.Factory construction in 24 months / product transfer in 12 months.
...purposefully use standards in order to manage the network centrally.Clear reporting and control processes from the machine level to the investment planning process.
...understand the network design as a top management task.At least as an executive department directly under the top management. a culture of “togetherness” and communicate tough decisions directly and transparently.Transparent communication of goals and vision of the network.

If you are interested in the complete study or the personal exchange on designing global production networks please do not hesitate to contact us!

Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Jan-Philipp Prote, M.Sc
Chief Engineer Production Management

Laboratory for Machine Tools and
Production Engineering
WZL of RWTH Aachen University
Steinbachstraße 19
52074 Aachen
Phone: +49 (0)241 80 28210