Made in Europe..?

Many of us regard the manufacturing industry as the backbone of our economy. Employment in the industrial sector however, is decreasing every year in all western countries.  In 1995, 31 million people held a job in Europe’s Manufacturing sector. Early 2014, this number was less than 25 million.

A loss of 1,000 jobs every day.

We call this process de-industrialization. Many economists tell us NOT to worry. Productivity increases and new technologies create more economic value than keeping lower skilled labour employed.

Politicians are hesitant. How do you explain ‘de-industrialization’ to a person who has just lost his job after another plant shutdown?

Business leaders in the manufacturing industry follow their own agenda: value creation for stakeholders. The creation or destruction of employment is secondary. Business continuity comes first.

The European research program Made in Europe connects de-industrialization to business location strategy. Understanding what makes a business decide to ‘stop, stay or go’ is core to understanding the destruction of employment in the Manufacturing sector.

About the Research

The Research Project Made in Europe is part of an international DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration) program, under the supervision and support of the following institutes: Business School Nederland (BSN), the Netherlands and Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) in Sheffield, UK.

The problem statement of the Research is formulated as a question:
What are the critical location factors for the Manufacturing Industry, which will help them decide on where their operations needs to be located in order to remain competitive and survive the 21st century?

The central research question of this thesis is:
‘Which location factors need to be considered by Europe’s Manufacturing Industries to survive the 21st century?’

The Research objective of ‘Made in Europe’ is:
Develop a framework to support location decisions for Europe’s
Manufacturing Industry sectors in the 21st century.

A Delphi research is the final part of the Research program Made in Europe. The Delphi method is a forecasting method based on the results of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts. See also

Overall planning of the Research:

Why join the expert panel?

The panel will consist of business practitioners only, senior managers from the European Manufacturing industry. No consultants, politicians, economists or other scientists will participate. The professional profile of an expert panel member is:


  • Senior management position (current or previous) in a European based Manufacturing Industry (sector Oil & Chemicals, High Tech, Metals & Machinery or Automotive)
  • Experience with strategic questions around Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Location strategies, Outsourcing, Off- and Re-shoring
  • Preferably  located in Germany, the UK or the Netherlands

Why should you join? ‘What’s in it for me?’

As member of the Made in Europe expert panel you will:

  1. Get detailed insight into current locations factors relevant for the Manufacturing Industry in general
  2. Develop your understanding of manufacturing location factors you and your peers consider most important
  3. Sharpen your knowledge of location factors relevant for your industry now and in the future
  4. Gain new insights into the development of new manufacturing location strategies for the industry
  5. Increase your expertise for improved decision making related to location strategies for the industry
  6. Receive a personal copy with an Executive Summary of the thesis ‘MADE IN EUROPE’, once completed

In addition to these personal benefits, your input can

  • Contribute to scientific research in the field of Economic Geography, Strategic Management and Decision Making theory
  • Support the European Manufacturing Industry in general with your insights and considerations
  • Contribute to potential new Industrial policy from your national and/or European government

In summary, joining the Made in Europe expert panel will increase your knowledge, expertise, understanding and decision making capabilities related to industrial location strategies vital for the survival of your business in todays highly competitive, global manufacturing industry.

What is your ‘investment’?
A limited amount of your time. You will receive three (3) online questionnaires during the first half of 2017. Expected time consumption is less than 30 minutes per questionnaire.
All communication will be fully anonymous, web-based, accessible for you 24/7.

How can you join this research?
Select the JOIN NOW button.
You will be asked to register as expert panel member for the research Made in Europe. Following your online registration, you will receive an online Participation document, asking for some personal and professional details including a request to agree with the terms of joining as a participant to the research.

About the Researcher

The research Made in Europe is conducted by Gerard Ekhart linkedin-button

Gerard Ekhart (1962) is a Dutch National holding Master degree in Supply Chain Management  from Business School Nederland (1998).  Gerard is owner and founder of the Imengo Group, a strategy and execution firm in the area of Supply Chain Transformation.

Gerard’s main area of expertise is working for global operating manufacturing companies. With over 30 years of professional experience, Gerard  personally led a variety of transformation programs in several manufacturing sectors. Currently Gerard is leading a Sourcing transformation program in the Chemicals sector in the Netherlands.

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