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How Will the Maker Movement Affect Manufacturing?

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The larger universe of manufacturers has been tinkering with their supply chains to figure out how to compete with or integrate with the make-for-me world that is evolving around them. They are …

The larger universe of manufacturers has been tinkering with their supply chains to figure out how to compete with or integrate with the make-for-me world that is evolving around them. They are working in four main area:

1) Retool production lines and backend systems to increase agility
2) Give customers the tools to customize.
3) Take risks and gather feedback.
4) Gather data.


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  • 1. SAP Center for Business Insight |Brief |Q&A |Case Study |Inquiry |E-Book |Infographic NO. 79 HowWill the Maker MovementAffect Manufacturing? 1 2 3 Retool production lines and backend systems to increase agility. Automaker Ford has what it calls a modular engine.The engines themselves aren’t modular; the line is.The plant and its tools can be changed out in a matter of hours to manufacture different versions of the engine based on need rather than having to bet on one or the other. Give customers the tools to customize. Coca- Cola discovered that customers were mixing their own soda flavors at the company’s retail fountains. So it decided to industrialize that urge to experiment, creating the Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain, giving soda buyers the ability to create their own singular concoction from more than 100 different flavors. Take risks and gather feedback. The make-for- me world rewards the company willing to take a chance on customization and continually recalibrate based on customer feedback.Today, for example, Mars has an entire business unit dedicated to customized candies and products called Mars Direct. But that started more than a decade ago with a small R&D group that wondered if offering custom colors and printing on M&M candies might be a viable moneymaker. Gather data. With access to more granular customer data and input, manufacturers can make smarter decisions about customization, not just offering an individual twist on a product because they can but making the shift because they are certain customers will want it. The larger universe of manufacturers has been tinkering with their supply chains to figure out how to compete with or integrate with the make-for-me world that is evolving around them. They are working in four main areas: 2011 7,000 2014 70,000 TO LEARN MORE, DOWNLOAD THE IN-DEPTH REPORT THE MAKE-FOR-ME FUTURE AND THE Q&A CAN CUSTOMIZATION BE PROFITABLE? When Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty launched the Maker Faire to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects, and the do-it-yourself mindset” in 2006, they had a reasonable turnout. Today, more than 150,000 people attend the bi-coastal event. Startups like i.materialise,Kraftwurx,Ponoko,Sculpteo, and Shapeways operate brisk 3D printing services and communities connecting makers,buyers,and sellers of unique items.Shapeways has gone from producing approximately 7,000 unique printed items a month three years ago to about 70,000 a month today. ©2014 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company.All rights reserved. Information herein subject to change without notice.