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In the first of a series of posts on disruptive technologies, Charlie Bradshaw, founder and CEO at Matrix APA, looks at how 3D printing will revolutionise procurement.
We’ve all heard about 3D printing. Everything from cars to clothing can now be manufactured using this additive manufacturing technique. But what you probably don’t realise is the hugely disruptive effect it will have on mainstream supply chain and procurement teams in the very near future.
To date, we’ve seen only small glimpses of its true potential. We’re now on the cusp of major developments that will have repercussions within manufacturing. Just two examples are in test-bed manufacturing lead-times:
Tech-savvy companies are already showing how it’s done. For example, Unilever has seen a 40% time reduction in the production of bottle caps and toilet rim blocks at some of its Italian factories. The consumer goods giant is able to design and print a variety of injection moulds for different parts that can undergo functional and consumer testing, on the same day.
For businesses driven by disruptive technology, this will exponentially cut down the time and cost of designing and manufacturing goods. If businesses switch their focus to the huge amount of time and money they can save by investing in cutting-edge technology, they will be future-proofing their business.
The challenge for procurement though is to be fully prepared and understand how it will affect their corporations and supply chains the world over.
This is the first part of a series exploring disruptive technologies. Next month will focus on artificial intelligence.
Charlie Bradshaw is founder and CEO of product design, supply chain and procurement specialist, Matrix APA
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.