Executive Briefing

Making the right things in the right places

Making decisions on how to deploy networks of factories and supply partners around the world are complex and challenging. Immediate questions facing senior supply chain executives include decisions on onshoring and nearshoring, moving from just-in-time production to just-in-case, and locating production closer to target supplies.

Finding the ‘right’ answers to these questions is inherently difficult, however some consultants quoting potential landed-cost savings of up to 45 per cent from manufacturing footprint reconfiguration.

A University of Cambridge approach, ‘Making the right things in the right places’ supports effective decision making in this area. The approach has been used extensively by multinationals across the world (including Caterpillar, Electrolux, Grundfos, IKEA, LEGO, Rolls-Royce and Schneider Electric) to structure decisions on manufacturing network redesign.

Manufacturing footprint strategy


  • Explore reasons for change and the benefits you could you see from network redesign
  • Discover a framework you can use to make decisions on production locations which can be used to answer questions on onshoring and nearshoring
  • Rethink the way your manufacturing network is designed to meet customer needs more effectively
  • Follow important stages involved in implementing any changes


“We have tailored the IfM’s manufacturing footprint approach and use it to bring together key stakeholders across our organisation to make decisions about operations. We used to do this based on limited data and the right feeling in our stomach – now we create a business case for each project based on data, evidence and facts. It gives us far more legitimacy with the board and we have high levels of confidence in the recommendations and strategy we propose.”

Thore Bänsch, Senior Director, Operations Strategy, Grundfos

Read the case Grundfos study


IfM Engage, the knowledge transfer arm of the Institute for Manufacturing, provides resources, training and consultancy for people and organisations across the world. Many of the tools and approaches we use support leadership teams in multinational organisations with supply chain transformation initiatives.