Site Roles and Production Networks

Each time value is allocated in a production network, the question arises as to whether the product portfolio, the operating resources and the core skills are distributed correctly. Only through coordinated site roles can the various plants work together optimally for the overall success of the company.

As globalization increases and new markets open up, depending on their business many companies are realigning their site network. Although major improvements are made to each factory in the process, the factories themselves are not optimally coordinated. In most cases, they compete with each other by exploiting the advantages of their respective locations. Cross-factory benchmarks only make sense if sites have the same role. In addition to economic indicators, these role-dependent criteria also include qualitative site-dependent criteria, such as proximity to customers or markets, the local labor situation, skills, infrastructure, and supply, as well as legal constraints.


Fraunhofer IPA offers the following application-based method for designing the allocation of value within your production network that takes into account the roles of the respective sites:

  • High-level workshop to derive a network and site strategy in line with company objectives
  • Network analysis at site level with a focus on site factors, skills, value, and costs
  • Identification of the various functional requirements of the factories and definition of company-specific site roles
  • General factory design through scalable conception of the sites according to their role and competences

The methodical approach allows the complex structures of a production network to be identified and classified. This results in an overall picture of the functional tasks of the production network, thus setting specific objectives by clearly defining the roles of the various sites.

The approach makes it possible to compare sites in a meaningful way and provides a methodical basis for evaluating factories with appropriate key figures. At the same time, we identify best practice solutions for different sites and help you develop them effectively so that you can achieve the respective factory targets.


Cross-site production concept raises efficiency potential at European Convenience Food GmbH

At European Convenience Food GmbH, we were asked to identify synergies and potentials of two production sites of the company and to plan how to exploit them.


Site Roles for the Global Production Network for Joyson

The heterogeneous tasks in the manufacturing at Joyson Safety Systems require a segmentation of the locations according to their value-added tasks. The aim is to define clear site roles in order to enable clear development paths for all plants and a feasible comparison between them.