"Manufacturing and Engineering Networks in a Globalised and Data-rich World"
Arnoud DE MEYER
It has become almost a cliché that the way we organize manufacturing and engineering, is changing because of two main reasons: globalization and the degree of data-intensity in products and services. Many sectors and markets are dominated by a small group of large producers, who have an international network of factories and design facilities. And the concept of a physical product or an intangible service has gotten blurred, because in most cases the value created for the customer now often consists of physical products and information and network based services.
This has obviously a major impact on how we think about global engineering and manufacturing networks. I will address three issues. First a lot more innovation and engineering is carried out in global ecosystems, or loose partnerships of companies and research institutes who together create value. This the way ARM, the British risc processor designer that was recently bought by Softbank, or Alibaba have organized their innovation systems. Such ecosystems have become possible thanks to the lower transaction costs between partners, as a result of better information and networking technology. I will propose under which circumstances such ecosystems are appropriate for engineering and manufacturing, and how they can be managed.
Secondly I have developed with my co-authors Ann Vereecke and Kasra Ferdows a model for the organization of global production networks, based on the degree of uniqueness of products and processes, which may help to delayer such networks. This empirically supported model helps us to spot anomalies in engineering and manufacturing networks and provides an excellent tool for the audit and management of such global networks.
Thirdly we have also explored what the implication is of the current hypes in manufacturing, e.g. re-shoring, 4.0 manufacturing and Internet of Things, the rise of e-commerce and digital manufacturing may imply for global engineering and manufacturing networks. Based on a number of case studies of companies like Johnson and Johnson, SAB Miller, Rolls Royce, BASF or Luxottica we hypothesize that the information density and interconnectedness of products and processes play a key role in the influence of these hypes on the organization of engineering and manufacturing networks.
How global networks can or need to be organized is still a very new are of research and practice. It is an area where modelling and empirical research can make a big difference. I will propose a number of hypotheses for interesting research projects.
About the Speaker
Professor De Meyer is the fourth President of Singapore Management University. Previously, he was Director of Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge where he was Professor of Management Studies and Fellow of Jesus College. He was associated for 23 years with INSEAD where he held various senior academic and administrative positions, including founding Dean of INSEAD’s Asia Campus in Singapore.
Professor De Meyer has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, MBA and PhD in Management from the University of Ghent in Belgium. He also pursued his studies as a visiting scholar at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). His research interests are in manufacturing and technology strategy; the implementation of new manufacturing technologies; the management of R&D; how innovation can be managed more effectively; project management under conditions of high uncertainty; management and innovation in Asia; the globalisation of Asian firms; the management of novel projects; and e-readiness in Europe. His work is published widely in academic journals and he has written several books.
Professor De Meyer serves on several boards including the Human Capital Leadership Institute, National Research Foundation, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, Singapore Symphonia Company Limited and Temasek Management Services. He is an external director of Dassault Systèmes SA (France) and also Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee of VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (Belgium).