The classic model of a centralised development organisation is losing importance in a networked world – whereas global access to know-how and human resources is coming to the forefront. However, the long-term successful design of an international development network – the R&D footprint – is a particularly challenging management task that involves many issues. In particular, it is necessary to define the strategic objectives for the global R&D network as well as role models for development sites, create cooperation models for distributed development structures and build global governance structures. In addition, an efficient connection to the customers’ and suppliers’ local development networks and research departments is equally important, as is the provision of global system infrastructures and the assurance of competence and know-how transfer within the company.
ROI supports companies the whole way towards their global R&D footprint; from developing a strategic vision through the derivation of short- and medium-term milestones and implementation steps up to KPI-based success monitoring. With a structured approach based on many years of experience, methodological and technical expertise and local know-how, we ensure security and transparency throughout this complex process. We focus on the following:
- Role models for development sites: A global development network is a complex system with many interactions that only function efficiently thanks to a precise set-up with clearly defined roles as well as management and development competencies for the involved locations and decision-makers, in addition to ensuring high product quality and as short a time-to-market as possible. A clear and unambiguous allocation of roles refers to products, processes, competence management and organisation within the network.
- Cooperation models in the network:Distributed development structures characterise ever more global R&D organisations these days. The drivers for this development are, among other things, the increased use of simultaneous engineering, cost advantages in outsourcing to best cost countries, access to new customers and markets or gaining system competence through corporate acquisitions. Likewise, individual regions emerge as system experts and are thus indispensable during the collaboration.
- Supplier relations: In addition to the pure outsourcing of R&D tasks, strategic suppliers have an increasing importance for the time-, cost- and quality-oriented provision of required parts and components. Close integration of suppliers into the global R&D network by combining different organisational and development models is therefore often crucial for product success. This leads to ‘hybrid’ organisational forms, whose limits and rules are clearly defined, consistently implemented and actively controlled.
- Governance: Globally distributed teams need a balance between governance and empowerment: in other words, on the one hand, clear central requirements, expectations and framework conditions are necessary to enable cross-site cooperation. On the other hand, the sites must be granted a degree of independence and freedom of choice to allow them to carry out efficient work. The umbrella for this is an inclusive and open corporate culture, common language and terminology and the targeted establishment of local centres as well as consistent knowledge distribution throughout the network.