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How will this affect you?

If you could produce items you currently use on site, right when you needed them, how would that improve your efficiency and customer service?  And if your clients could do the same, how would that affect the services you provide to them?  This is the looming reality of 3D printers.

How will you prepare for 3D Printers asks Jenni Murphy-Scanlon?

If you haven’t yet got your head around 3D printers, it’s time you did.  While they are not affordable for most businesses, yet, it’s only a matter of time.  And once the market for them picks up, there will be a raft of adaptations and improvements that widen their use.  So while some might ‘print’ (but manufacture is perhaps a more accurate term) in plastic, others might do so in metal, and yet others in polystyrene and so forth.  The idea is that when, for instance, you go to get your car serviced, rather than wait overnight for the relevant part, your mechanic will ‘print’ it to order on site.  Apply this to any scenario where you need a reasonably common item.   Logically then, businesses, and the relevant people within them, who currently serve a purpose in the process of manufacture, ordering and transporting – are required much less (the end user will still need material supplies for the printer).  It’s the ultimate ‘just-in-time’ process!

And while this sounds amazingly efficient and customer-centric, the bad news for SMEs is that this may be yet another investment many are forced to make to compete.  And the cost of maintenance and replacement is likely to sit with the end-user business, where at present, manufacturing businesses spread that cost across a larger number of items and customers.

Like other impacts that your business has little control over, the advent of 3D printers is not so much a question of ‘if’, but rather of ‘how are preparing for that?’

Jenni works in the services and professional sectors helping clients develop unique and workable strategies that ensure they are ‘famous and future-fit’ in their chosen markets.  You can access free resources at her website http://www.strategies-direct.com 

Categories: Business and Strategy
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