German Manufacturing Survey

In 1993, the German Manufacturing Survey was conducted for the first time. Since then, every two to three years this survey analyses the application of technological and organisational innovations and the resulting improvements in performance of the manufacturing sector.  

Economic growth and securing of employment depends on companies‘ ability to innovate. Innovation can thus refer to new or improved products, services, processes, organisational forms, markets etc. Respectively, the competitiveness of companies’ is not only defined by the efficiency of their products and services but also by the corresponding production processes. The costs of production, delivery flexibility and quality are important factors here.

Several surveys try to capture innovation activities in the economy, to show backlogs of certain sectors or regions and to contrast and compare Germany to other countries. Most of these surveys focus on indicators on product innovation. Process innovations, however, are not so closely monitored. To close this gap and to complement existing surveys, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI has developed the German Manufacturing Survey.

The German Manufacturing Survey is conducted every three years and is the broadest survey on modernisation trends in production and technology- oriented companies in Europe. Originally restricted to the metal and electronic industry, in 2001 this survey was enlarged to address also companies of the chemical and the plastic processing industry. Since 2006, the survey has been addressing the whole manufacturing sector. The survey covers a representative sample of 1600 companies of the manufacturing sector in Germany. With the help of detailed indicators this survey analyses the innovation fields “technical modernisation of value adding processes“, “introduction of innovative organisational concepts and processes“ as well as “new business models for supplementing the product offer by innovative services“.

In terms of holistic modernisation strategies this enables analyses on the application of innovative production technologies or the realisation of modern HR measures. Moreover, linked up with companies’ outline data and performance figures economic effects of innovations in manufacturing can be traced and measured as “innovation output”.

To meet the demand for internationally comparative data, the German Manufacturing Survey was internationalised in 2001 and thus originated the European Manufacturing Survey (EMS). The European Manufacturing Survey is conducted by a consortium of research institutes and universities from several European and non-European countries. Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI coordinates this survey. The last round of the survey took place in 2009 in twelve European countries.

Analyses of the German Manufacturing Survey serve to improve scientific state of knowledge, to help decision-making in policy consulting for evaluating technological or economic measures and last but not least to inform associations and trade unions  as well as to consult companies in the sense of a benchmarking. Due to their specific topic selection these data complement existing surveys and do thus represent an important element in the research landscape.

The results from the German Manufacturing Survey are published in articles for professional journals and collected editions. They also constitute the basis for expertises for private and public customers. Special analyses for customers are generally confidential. Furthermore, analyses are processed and published in brochures on specific topics. These brochures are available for the participating companies and the interested public.

The data from the German Manufacturing Survey as well as that of the European Manufacturing Survey (EMS ) constitute the basis for an informative performance benchmark enabling companies to compare themselves with their competitors. More detailed information on this benchmark is available at Online-Benchmarking.

Publications

Documentation

  • Angela Jäger; Spomenka Maloca: Dokumentation der Umfrage Modernisierung der Produktion 2015, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe 2016.
  • Angela Jäger; Spomenka Maloca: Dokumentation der Umfrage Modernisierung der Produktion 2012, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe 2013.
  • Angela Jäger; Spomenka Maloca: Dokumentation der Umfrage Modernisierung der Produktion 2009, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe 2009.
  • Angela Jäger; Gunter Lay; Spomenka Maloca: Dokumentation der Umfrage Modernisierung der Produktion 2006, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe 2007.
  • Gunter Lay; Spomenka Maloca: Dokumentation der Umfrage Innovationen in der Produktion 2003, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe 2004.
  • Gunter Lay; Spomenka Maloca; Werner Wallmeier: Dokumentation der Umfrage Innovationen in der Produktion 2001, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe 2002.

Status

ongoing
 

Commissioned by

own research project