Make-or-Buy: Supporting strategic decision-making


Course overview


Deciding what activities to undertake or develop in-house, undertake with partners, outsource or deliver through acquisition is a fundamental part of the strategy of any company. Yet these decisions are often made reactively and purely on the basis of cost, rather than considering other non-financial aspects which are often vital to overall competitiveness.

The IfM’s 'make-or-buy' approach identifies and quantifies the range of decision-making criteria, placing them in context and leading to clearer and better-informed choices. Our approach has helped companies across a wide range of sectors to improve their strategic decision-making and avoid contentious debates.

In this online short course, you will explore the make-or-buy framework, helping you to answer key questions such as:

  • How strategic is a particular product, service, capability, process or component?
  • How important is it to the customers’ buying decisions?
  • Does it require unique know-how?
  • How does potential supply base, partner or customer capability compare with our internal capability in delivering this?


Delivered in two 2-hour online sessions across two days, course material is presented using the latest virtual interactive environments, including breakout rooms to facilitate discussions between delegates to aid learning.


What you will learn

  • Why a make-or-buy strategy is important
  • How to develop a make-or-buy strategy, balancing the protection of critical production capabilities with effective use of supply partners
  • A practical toolkit for the development of a make-or-buy strategy, illustrated with some real-world applications.


Who should attend

  • Senior operations executives looking to inspire thought leadership in manufacturing footprint development across complex organisations
  • Mid-level operations managers and executives who lead strategic change programmes in global manufacturing
  • Strategic analysts and internal consultants who support major strategic change programmes
  • High-potential functional leaders and managers who are seeking to develop awareness of the important global, enterprise-level strategic challenges that the business is facing


Course tutors



Paul Christodoulou


Andrew Gill 


More information


Bespoke programmes 

This short course can be run in-company, at a location of choice, for organisations that would like to train multiple employees on the content. We can tailor content to meet specific organisational requirements to further enhance the learning experience.


Centre for Technology Management

This content on this course is based on the research and practice activtities at the Centre for Technology Management.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This event may contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as part of the your professional institution's monitoring scheme.


University of Cambridge endorsement

IfM open courses are endorsed by the Board of Executive and Professional Education.






Key details

7 - 8 July 2020


Duration: 2 x 2-hour online sessions, 14.00-16.00 UK time


Cost: £450 plus VAT


Discount available for multiple bookings.


Location: online


IfM members and alumni are entitled to a 10% discount off the course fees. For details of our membership scheme see click here.


Booking confirmation and cancellation policy.


For further information please contact:

Lisa Barnett