Volume 15 Number 10 - October 3, 2017


Not true today, but I expect it to be in a few short years. Why do I believe that? Simply because 3D printing is changing the world, and will impact service parts of global companies significantly. Fed-Ex and UPS are logical options to address that challenge.

When your customers are geographically distributed, don't want to carry inventory of spares, and expect 100% uptime, providing totally reliable equipment that lasts nearly forever becomes your requirement. Can't think of anyone doing that now, so as we move forward on that path we need an interim plan to keep customers happy.

In many cases, the fastest, cheapest, most reliable way to get needed spare parts to your customers will be by distributed 3D printing. It makes no sense for every manufacturer to house equipment and materials in 100s of locations worldwide. Sending part files to independent subcontractors for printing would require extensive research and lack reliability.

But there are at least two companies we can easily identify that already have locations worldwide, long standing relationships with manufacturers, expertise in logistics, and data management/cloud prowess: Fed-Ex and UPS. Of course there are others, but the extensive global footprint of those two organizations makes them the most likely candidates to see this opportunity and step up.

There are obstacles to this becoming reality, but none that can't be overcome with relative ease.

I may be wrong about this. How is your business impacted if I'm right?

What opportunities do you see to bring additional value to your existing customers?

Transforming Operations. Transforming Business.®

Let's discuss how Manufacturing Greatness can help you become a better manufacturing operations leader. Additionally, my latest book, Start Smart, Finish Strong: Forging Your Path to Operational Excellence and Long-Term Success in the Manufacturing World is available at Amazon, Kindle, and iBooks.

Creating Flow

The Starting Pistol

Nassim Nicholas Taleb:
"We know from chaos theory that even if you had a perfect model of the world, you'd need infinite precision in order to predict future events. With sociopolitical or economic phenomena, we don't have anything like that.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"Yet we cannot afford to sit and wait to see what happens. We must combine logic and known facts to make our best guesses."

October 9-10, 2017: Detroit, MI: Your tax dollar at very important work in supporting manufacturing. Invest 2 days in this LIFT Design the Difference conference. Highlights will include optimization driven design methods, the evolution of the user experience, and the impact of disruptive trends on simulation.

October 9-13, 2017: Boston, MA: AME's annual conference is in Boston this year. Over 2,000 of like-minded operations leaders and followers will be there. Check out the workshops, tours, keynotes, and practitioner presentations.

October 15-17, 2017: San Antonio, TX: The annual APICS conference will host over 2,000 of your supply chain and operations peers. Supply chain excellence doesn’t just happen. Leaders make it happen by aligning with proven standards and practices. The journey to excellence is clear. If you haven't attended this recently, perhaps you should.

November 27-29, 2017: Berlin, Germany: The 13th annual European Manufacturing Strategy Conference will be held in Berlin this year. Speakers include your peers from a variety of multi-national and European based manufacturers. It's a great opportunity to get global perspective on your operations strategy.

April 23-27, 2018: Oxford, England: We can learn from anyone. This is an opportunity to learn from and with a small group of your peers in a rich experiential environment. Oxford University's Scenarios Program is a 5-day deep dive into strategic scenario planning. Leading your manufacturing company into a very uncertain future with success and confidence requires preparation for unstructured environments. Non-college-credit course with application required.

Check out the Events page on our website for more information.

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