A decade ago, consumers accepted waiting a week for their product but now with the infusion of companies such as Amazon and Alibaba, consumers are making their purchase decisions based on how quickly they will receive the product. In order to stay competitive in the marketplace, companies are turning to 3D printing to create their products quicker.
Let's say you're about to design a brand new product. You have a lot of work ahead of you. You need to define the specs, create the design, source suppliers, check in with experts in legal and in safety, set up a testing procedure, do trial runs. Then the product will go into mass production, require a warranty, be put into actual use.
The term "Web 2.0" refers to the current state of online technology as it compares to the early days of the Web, and is characterized by greater user interactivity and collaboration, more pervasive network connectivity and enhanced communication channels.
In December, two conflicting reports were released, one by A.T. Kearney and one by the Boston Consulting Group. The A.T. Kearney report states that reshoring may be "over before it began," and the Boston Consulting Group report states that it is increasing. Why the difference in opinion and who is right?
Will a robot run my organization in 10 years? Maybe, even though a chief executive's job, which requires a fair amount of problem-solving and creativity, is probably less susceptible to automation than middle-skill jobs such as machining and bookkeeping. At the same time, new research shows that most jobs have some proportion of tasks that can be substituted by workplace automation. Including a CEO's job.
As an industry, manufacturing is "hot." Regions are creating manufacturing initiatives, countries are creating policies to lure manufacturing back and prepare the next generation of talent, maker fairs show entrepreneurs and small-scale artisans how they too can design and manufacture their own products, what manufacturers sell goes well beyond the 100-year-old recipe and the mechanical drawings, and new technologies are changing the economies of scale so that large- and small-scale value chains can be successful.
While there has been much talk over the past 10 years or so about "collaboration," much of it has been focused on external supply chain collaboration. It seems that many companies neglected to get their own houses in order before looking outside their own supply chains, according to a University of Tennessee report entitled Bending the Chain: The Surprising Challenge of Integrating Purchasing and Logistics.
With the supply chain industry suffering from a lack of available talent for management positions, U.S. companies are stepping up efforts to recruit qualified and skilled professionals for those roles.