This video explores the fourth and final quadrant of our additive manufacturing framework: business model evolution. Learn what path IV is all about and why it is important. Learn about the relationship between this path and the more "pure" paths II and III, and the difficulty of combining both routes to deliver new levels of competitive capability. Finally, review several examples of business models that have emerged along path IV and venture the possibility that disintermediation may be a common result from these types of competitive approaches.
- Hi there. In this segment, we'll continue our journey through the additive manufacturing framework by examining path four, business model evolution. I'll begin by reminding us of exactly what path four is about, and then we'll move through some examples of the business models we're actually seeing emerging in this space. Let's get started. Path four companies alter both supply chains and products in pursuit of new business models. Now, that's important, but it's easier to say than it is to do. Innovation and new business growth represent the holy grails of business opportunity, and managers need to consider all possible approaches to achieving it.
In essence, managers seek to combine tactics and value embedded in path two supply chain and path three products to achieve not only the operational advantages that define new levels of competition, but also to create those important new business models. Examples of these business models are still emerging, and I think it's important not to get too hung up on whether something is path two or path four or path three or path four and really focus on the emergence of new sources of value by combining all of these attributes.
That said, I think some compelling examples can be found that are out there, and one of them is the maker movement. Now, makers are individuals who apply manufactured technologies to create their own products either as a hobby or as a business, and there are companies out there that exist to help facilitate their efforts. One is cubify.com. They offer makers the opportunity to design and deliver their products to a growing market. Another is shapeways.com which offers literally thousands of products that have been additively manufactured.
Other websites act more as clearing houses of digitally designed products that users can download and print for themselves. Thingiverse.com is a good example of this and has literally thousands of examples in a diverse range of categories. Of course, other more formal business models do exist. For example, we know of one product company that produces decorative household goods that works collaboratively with its customers using digital design to create unique fixtures such as door knobs and plumbing equipment that can be used in specific applications.
The company uses the results of this collaboration to bring new products and services to the market. Similar attempts to transform both supply chain and products exist in healthcare in the form of surgical guides and models. Here's a good one. This is an actual reproduction of a human heart that was taken from a patient. This patient went in and had a CAT scan and literally asked the doctor for a copy of the file and created this 3D model. Now, in a surgical setting, a surgeon might produce this heart as a way to practice or model or plan their route to a surgical procedure rather than having to deal with what they find when they get into the chest cavity or having to work from a three dimensional image simply on a computer screen.
Advancements in imaging and the creation of surgical guides are revolutionizing medical care. In fact, in the last year more than 70,000 surgical guides were produced and used in actual procedures, and again, in most cases, what we're really thinking about here is not growing the overall market, but, instead, improving clinical efficacy. Now in general, the route to path four probably runs more through path three than path two. On the other hand, it could be that we need the combination of both products and the supply chains to support them to deliver the complete package of business value.
This may be particularly true where digital design tecnologies become an important part of the collaboration between producer and end customer. Thus, we have to deal with the fact that disintermediation may be an underlying element of most business model evolution efforts.
- What is additive manufacturing?
- Working with light-activated polymers
- Resin printing
- Modeling and extruding materials
- Fusing, melting, and sintering
- Binder jetting
- Laminating sheets
- Developing a product
- Shaping the direction of tooling
- Evolving a supply chain
- Evolving a product
- Evolving a business model