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Global Structure Concepts – A success factor for products in a volatile market environment

05.07.2022 | Reading Time:

Recent developments state a challenge for globally oriented enterprises.

Necessary measures like Product relocation and changes in supply chains require effective methods – starting as early as in product development.

Globalization promises substantial potential gains for manufacturers of physical products.

New market regions can be established, regional supply chains can be applied and different payment levels across the regions can be used to minimize production costs while being present in all relevant markets.

Establishing a global presence often comes at the price of deeply intertwined, distributed networks of design- manufacturing- and logistical processes.

Today, these networks are challenged strongly by political and pandemic developments. Interrupted supply chains, the closure or re-location of production sites and changing salary levels require swift and decisive action to prevail in a volatile market environment.

We recognize the increasing necessity to react quickly on such changes by the relocation of products and production capacities – without putting product quality at risk.

In this context we discovered that differences in regional supply chains, the availability of specific components and raw materials as well as different manufacturing depths and manufacturing capabilities across sites state a real challenge for product re-locations.

Problems of site-specific designed products

An additional challenge our clients experienced in this context were manufacturing-oriented and site-specific product designs. When re-locating such products to other sites, this often requires extensive rollbacks of the initial design and site-specific re-designs – with significant additional effort and the risk, that due to the uncoupled product definitions across sites, the products will diverge over time.

For this reason, manufacturers with parallelized global manufacturing or a need to relocate products swiftly, require a clear, globally oriented structure concept with a central development structure (Global EBOM) and derived, locally oriented Manufacturing structures (local MBOMs).

This approach is supported by using substitutes in the global EBOM, which provide a defined set of possible alternatives for individual BOM-Positions without affecting the product’s features. By selecting the preferred substitute in the MBOM, local manufacturing scenarios can be created.


This enables:

  • Parallel availability of multiple manufacturing scenarios
  • Fast reaction on changes in supply chains and shortages
  • Global change control via one central EBOM


Besides the technical capabilities of the used IT-Architecture, the organizational prerequisites need to be established to enable this approach. To manage a global product definition consistently across its lifecycle and multiple sites, an effective change control process is key success factor.

We will gladly discuss this approach, it’s benefits and challenges together with you and support you with its implementation.

Thomas Jäckel
PLM | Process Management

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