Complex Global Supply Chains Stand Poised to be Dismantled

In the next five years, proliferation of 3D printing and software-defined supply chain will result in products 23 percent less costly to produce, and with it will come a re-localization and simplification of the global supply chain. Paul Brody elaborates on this in an article for GIGAOM. Intermediary organizations that create specialized parts will be rendered obsolete, since 3D printers will be able to create such parts in-house. This streamlining of processes will allow for production of goods at higher speeds and in lower volumes for reasonable prices. Individually customized items will become a reality for consumers as the entire supply chain shrinks to a city level. In fact, customers may choose to print their own parts altogether. As businesses transform and adapt to stay viable, they will likely make enemies of old partners. Essentially, new opportunities and challenges will emerge from every angle in the localized supply chain. It is best to start preparing now.

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