Digitalization and relocation behaviour in the German industry ­– trends and relations


Goal of the analysis for the Association of German Engineers (Verein Detuscher Ingenieure VDI) is to answer the following questions in collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute for system and innovation research ISI:

  1. What is the status quo and extent of digitalisation of German industry’s value creation processes and what dynamics and trends can be seen currently?
  2. What kind of relation can be found between the level of digitalization and chosen, operational key performance indicators?
  3. How many and which companies have outsourced parts of their production to foreign countries between the years 2014 to 2015 and how many companies have moved parts of their production back to German locations in the same period?
  4. What kind of relation exists between the level of operational digitalization and the disposition to outsource the production to foreign countries or to move it back, respectively? Does a more intensive digitalization come along with less offshoring or more backshoring?

From the results, robust and communicable statements for the broad public will be deduced, consisting of to what extend digital technologies are already used in the German industry and which (expectably positive) relationshops exist with operational key performance indicators and the (expectably lower) inclination to offshoring. The most important findings are ought to be presented to the media and the public at different common press conferences in spring 2016.


The amount of work aggregates to 4.25 man-months, accordingly 53,825 Euro plus VAT. The project starts on 10/01/2016 and ends presumably on 05/31/2017.