Steadily increasing competitive pressure, growing cost pressure in a global market environment and ever shorter product life and development cycles present the manufacturing industry with increasing challenges. This trend is further exacerbated by the need to spread the product portfolio in order to cover the markets' expectations in niche markets by creating variants without neglecting the volume business. The individualization of certain market segments and customer groups is often accompanied by a decline in volume business. This worsening trend affects not only the traditional fields with a high degree of competition, such as the consumer goods industry or the automotive industry, but also mechanical engineering and plant construction, aerospace, the pharmaceutical industry and medical technology. As a result, integrated and structured cost management as the central element of a successful strategy is essential in order to meet this challenge.