What does European industry need to know about time? Although there is a wide-spread belief that low-cost-production companies will gain market share over more expensive competitors there are considerable opportunities for more expensive producers as long as they provide a certain valueadded for their customers: customized products and at the same time much faster delivery.
We are suggesting that improving our knowledge of how European factories can shorten their delivery lead times, and thus substantially increase their competitiveness, will not only help to keep European jobs in Europe but also contribute to the scientific field of Operations Management and Strategy. Recently, lead time reduction has considerably pushed mass customization because traditionally production and delivery of individualized products took too long. But lead time reduction methods can speed up any process in manufacturing as well as in service businesses.
The goal of this project is to develop state of the art software that will further support lead time reductions in European industry and through these efforts provide a source of data for scientific publications in top journals.