University of Cambridge


Briefings and case studies

Feedback from the Frontline: Engaging front-line employees in service innovation

CSA researchers set out construct a framework to allow organisations to tap into a rich source of knowledge about their customers - their front-line employees (FLEs).

Anticipating Manufacturability Needs and Challenges to Support the Pathway to Impact

The first Pathways to Manufacturing Seminar explored how manufacturability challenges affect the scale-up and industrialisation (pathway to impact) of technical research and development (R&D).

Seven Critical Success Factors in the Shift to Services

A new Executive Briefing from the Cambridge Service Alliance, 'Seven Critical Success Factors in the Shift to Services’, sets out a roadmap for making the shift to services journey.

The Different Roles of Technology in Technological Emergence

These briefing notes are short summaries of some of the ongoing work being conducted in CSTI. They are developed to communicate some potentially useful concepts, observations and practices, particularly for the purpose of informing policy developers.

The Manufacturability Challenges of Emerging Technologies

This CSTI project 'Pathways to Manufacturing' aims to advance understanding of the manufacturability challenges faced when deploying a new technology at scale.

Key Considerations in Asset Management Design

This executive briefing from the Cambridge Service Alliance outlines different aspects to consider when rethinking your asset management system.

Business model innovation in India

A new study by Chander Velu, from the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing and Mahima Kanna from the International Finance Corporation, aims to shed light on business model innovation in India over the last decade.

Roadmapping health and wellbeing in the UK rail industry

There are approximately 120,000 people working for the UK rail industry. Recent figures have indicated that sickness costs the industry £316 million a year. Addressing the health of its workforce is therefore a matter of some urgency and could result in an annual saving of £32 million

New business models help the take-up of sustainable technologies

How can innovative sustainable technologies be spread to make an impact on global warming and resource scarcity? PhD student in the Centre for Technology Management,
Harold Overholm, has been researching how business model innovation could contribute to the take-up of sustainable technologies.

Global production network planning at Caterpillar Inc: a case study

Rod Skewes, Caterpillar’s Manager of Global Production Network Planning, describes their approach, developed in collaboration with Cambridge University.

Integration of industrial sustainability into business decision making using supply network design tools

It is widely recognised that industrial systems have been a major driver in raising the standard of living around the world, however it is also understood that manufacturing systems are a major influence on the global environment.

50 Years of Working at The Speed of Light

2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the invention of the Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). The science has evolved from a series of curious instruments conceived and produced by a handful of scientists, to one of the most important scientific inventions of all time.

Technology roadmapping: facilitating collaborative strategy development

Roadmapping approaches are now widely used at company, sector and national levels to align research investments and other actions with goals and policy.

Can environmental legislation spur innovative response?

Most people acknowledge that swift action needs to be taken to curb climate change, and many would suggest that legislation is a primary route to ensure harmful emissions are reduced. 

Creating an environment for open innovation

Manufacturers are increasingly turning towards Open Innovation (OI) as a means of enhancing their innovation capability. As manufacturing processes and technology grow in complexity and global markets become more competitive, few companies can rely on in-house research departments alone.

How do supply networks shape industrial emergence?

New forms of supply network are emerging to support novel technologies coming to 
market and also to underpin alternative business models. As part of the IfM’s Emerging Industries Programme, research at the Centre for International Manufacturing (CIM) is looking at how supply networks shape industrial emergence.

Mergers and acquisitions: an international operations perspective

Leading manufacturers are pumping trillions of dollars into overseas investments as they seek to establish a position in global markets. The primary means for such Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are mergers and acquisitions (M&A). 

Industrial service network design: configuring multi-organisational networks

Many manufacturing firms have developed a service dimension to their product portfolio. However, the provision of product service solutions has placed an increasingly heavy reliance on networks of multiple partners to deliver services, often right through to the point-of-use.

Tailored approaches to manufacturing footprint strategy

As global economies becoming increasingly interconnected, companies need to develop the most appropriate configuration of international manufacturing plants to maximise access to markets and strategic resources.

Shan-Zhai: alternative manufacturing making the unaffordable affordable

Evolving on the fringes of China’s industrial heartland and regarded with some suspicion 
by the established players, Shan-Zhai manufacturing has nevertheless grown into a multi-million dollar business, that could lead to new insights for Western manufacturing.

Making the business case for new technologies

Persuading organisations to invest in new technologies is one of the most important tasks of technology managers, yet the actual process of gaining the buy-in decision is often fraught and inconclusive.

Technology Intelligence systems: how companies keep track of the latest technological developments

Companies need to keep abreast of the latest technological innovations if they are to take advantage of new business opportunities and become aware of potential threats. Examples of disruptive innovations that have revolutionised an industry include liquid crystal displays (which have now largely displaced cathode ray tubes in televisions) and digital technology which has transformed the photographic industry.

China targets high-tech manufacturing

The sustained growth of the Chinese economy is driven by the impressive performance of its manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing footprint strategy: Making the right things in the right places

process is emerging focused on developing the right configuration of manufacturing plants around the globe – where to locate them, what their roles should be and how they should interact with each other.

Resurgence of manufacturing in India

Viewed from the perspective of international manufacturing, the Indian economy is seeing a dramatic resurgence.

Reconfiguring supply chain networks for competitive advantage

Are you making the most of your extended supply network? Recent research at the IfM indicates that the capabilities of a company’s supply network can be a vital source of 
competitive advantage in international markets.

Partnerships between technology-based start-ups and established firms: making them work

As companies face pressure from increased competition, shortening product life cycles 
and growing product complexity many are finding they need to change the way they develop new technologies, products and services.

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