Successful Complexity Management in Production and Supply Chain


New Focus Group „Plant Complexity“

  Factory hall Copyright: © unsplash High process variance in manufacturing is often a symptom of increased product variety

Shorter product lifecycles, more specific customer requirements and changing political conditions have led to a growing complexity in the production and supply chain of many companies in recent years. Various studies show that product diversity has continuously increased at over 50 percent of companies and that about one in six companies has seen an increase of over 20 percent.

If this complexity is not controlled, it makes the management of the entire value chain more difficult and leads to high follow-up costs. Impairment of delivery performance, declining product quality and increasing process variance in production are symptoms frequently mentioned in this context. By contrast, controlled complexity can lead to savings of up to 15 percent in operating profit. In view of unforeseeable events, such as the current global corona pandemic and emerging trade conflicts, successful complexity management is therefore more important than ever in order to ensure sustainable profitability.

In order to get a step closer to the solution of a controlled complexity, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen offers the focus group “Plant Complexity” in cooperation with the Complexity Management Academy and the University of St. Gallen. It offers companies the opportunity to exchange information with other companies as well as experts from industry and research about their complexity focus areas, to adapt successful practices and to develop improvement solutions jointly.

Partner Companies for the Focus Group “Plant Complexity” wanted!

Interested companies can become part of the focus group, actively helping to shape the main topics and thus laying the foundation for adapting their company to an increasingly volatile environment.

How can complexity in planning, supply chain, production and distribution be managed? What are complexity drivers in the different plants, companies and industries? Which instruments, methods and concepts are suitable to deal with complexity in different areas? How can digital technologies support the management of complexity?

With the circle of experts in the “Plant Complexity” focus group, individual questions can be discussed and new solutions for the company can be found.