3_Management von Logistik- und Produktionsnetzwerken

Management of Logistics and Production Networks

On the one hand, worldwide supply chains, complex network structures and volatile market conditions require a robust design of logistics and production networks. On the other hand, a high flexibility and agility are necessary for companies to plan, realize and control cross-actor processes among the whole network cost-efficiently under uncertainty. Furthermore, the framework conditions for logistics and production are being fundamentally changed through megatrends like digitalization and urbanization. New and adapted business models and processes are necessary to react to the megatrends and to meet the high requirements concerning the robustness and flexibility of logistics and production networks in a competitive surrounding.

The research focus “Management of Logistics and Production Networks“ concentrates on strategic planning, design and control of sustainable logistics and production networks. This contains the analysis of market trends as well as the resulting reactions of companies. Examples for these reactions include the adaption of business models, the formation of cooperations and the reconfiguration of structures in in value-adding networks.

With the help of benchmarking and trend and simulation studies these developments are examined in detail and evaluated quantitatively. On the one hand, concepts for individual business models for companies in the network are developed. On the other hand, cooperation models and supply chain configurations are formulated on a network level and specific recommendations for action are derived.

Selected Research Questions

  • Which chances and risks emerge from megatrends like urbanization and digitalization for the service development of industrial and logistics companies?
  • How can the quality of forecasting in supply chains be increased by demand and capacity management to enforce improved planning processes?
  • How can the performance of value-added networks be comprehensively benchmarked and evaluated?
  • How can resources in a value-added network be allocated to achieve a cost-efficient supply chain design from the view of the total cost of ownership approach?
  • How can the agility and robustness of distribution systems be improved through cooperation concepts?
  • How do recent and future developments (e. g. environmental demands) impact the logistics market?

Research Topics

For a purposeful development of business models for industrial companies and companies of the logistics and transport sector, new service concepts for the fulfilment of customer demand are developed. Subject of the research topic is the design and evaluation of systematic process models for business development. Hereby, especially the increasing possibilities of digitalization for service development and execution are being considered to meet the requirements of existing and rising markets.

The high volatility of markets and globally oriented procurement, production and distribution networks lead to new challenges und uncertainties in planning. An effective cross-company demand and capacity management is necessary to control the allocation of resources in value-added networks and to implement countermeasures in case of shortages in a proactive manner. For a preparation and analysis of the status quo, systematic benchmarks are part of the research. These enable meaningful comparisons with competitors from which valuable improvement potentials can be derived. For decision support in demand and capacity management, based on this, scenarios for the configuration of the network are developed and investigated based on simulations.

To increase the performance of value-added networks, cooperation models are becoming an increasingly important alternative. To be successful, a differentiated design for all involved partners is essential. Investigations regarding the design of cooperations in value-added networks are in focus of this research topic. In agent-based simulation models specific possibilities for implementation are considered.

In this research topic, the impacts of recent megatrends on the regional market developments in the logistics sector are investigated. Thereby, trend studies offer a practice-oriented view on changing economic framework conditions and emerging future perspectives for the actors of the logistics sector.