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ABEKO - Assistance system for demographically-adjusted company-specific expertise management for future production and logistics systems

Future Production and logistics systems will become highly interactive socio-technical systems. Intelligent objects and intelligent work and operating resources will be linked to each other via internet technologies, will interact with each other and revolutionize production control. The design of logistics processes will also be influenced by demographic change. In this context, an innovative assistance system will put companies in a position to proactively manage the development of their employees’ expertise.

People are getting older and older and tomorrow’s working world will become more and more complex: With the growth of digitalization and industry 4.0 more manual activities will be automated and employees will have to face increasingly complex demands. The focus for employees is shifting from carrying out activities to monitoring, surveillance and troubleshooting. New tasks are characterized by the high levels of knowledge they require and constant change. For companies in the production and logistics industry these developments mean more attention must be paid to developing employee expertise – and particularly in view of increasing skills shortages as a consequence of demographic developments. How can today’s and future expertise requirements be determined, what should qualification and learning concepts look like for various target groups at skilled labor level, in particular, however, for best agers and employees with migration backgrounds? The research project ABEKO, which is short for “Assistance system for demographically-adjusted company-specific expertise management for future production and logistics systems “, is looking into just that. The Federal Ministry for Education and Research is sponsoring the project within the program “Working – learning – developing expertise. Ability for innovation in a modern working world“.

Objective of the project

Today, companies still lack suitable tools to systematically analyze the operating processes in production and logistics and to recognize the development requirements for expertise management in time. The aim is for companies to operate proactively and to be in a position to adjust their personnel development measures in line with future requirements. At the same time they will be empowered to train their employees as effectively as possible.
First of all, current and future expertise requirements for production and logistics are to be determined within the scope of this project. Based on these, short-, medium- and long-term scenarios will be developed for the employees’ role - with the target horizon set for the year 2020.

Specific Innovations

A computer-supported assistance system is being created within the project as a one-stop solution. The software enables companies to seek solutions and to plan measures for their expertise management with relatively little effort. Operational processes can be implemented in pre-configured masks (process modeling), their expertise requirements can be modeled (catalogue-based process-expertise structure model for subject, method and social expertise) and projected for the future. This reveals both current and future expertise requirements. By comparing this with the current staff’s skills it is possible to identify possible gaps in expertise (expertise gap analysis). Parallel to developing this technical tool, the project is also working on qualification and learning concepts which are sensitive to demographics as a basis for modeling company-specific programs for the individual development of employees’ expertise. A learning environment will be integrated into the software together with classic HR systems for staff administration. Methods, tools and the software prototype itself will be tested at an automotive supplier.

Partners in the Project

TU Dortmund University, Chair of Enterprise Logistics and Center for Higher Education


MAHLE Aftermarket GmbH




GlobalGate GmbH


EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr


DIALOGistik Duisburg 

With special regard to demografic change ABEKO develops an innovative assistance system that put companies in the position to proactively manage the development of their employees' expertise.

Contact person

Dr.-Ing. Tobias Hegmanns


TU Dortmund University
Chair of Enterprise Logistics


Dipl.-Logist. Natalia Straub


TU Dortmund University
Chair of Enterprise Logistics



Facts & Figures

Start of the Project

January 1, 2014

Project Duration
37 months

Project Volume
1.87 Mio Euro

More informations


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