The future of manufacturing


The future of manufacturing

Making things in a changing world

The changing economics of production and distribution, along with shifts in consumer demand and the emergence of “smart” products, are pushing manufacturers to explore radically new ways of creating and capturing value.

Manufacturing used to be about making physical products. Today, however, changes in consumer demand, the nature of products, the economics of production, and the economics of the value chain have led to major shifts in the way goods are designed, produced, and sold. To succeed in this new landscape, manufacturers must find new ways to create and capture value.

This report explores how exponential technological advancement, coupled with eroding barriers to entry, commercialization, and learning, are creating a new business landscape. While large-scale production will always dominate some segments of the value chain, innovative models—distributed small-scale local manufacturing, loosely coupled manufacturing ecosystems, and agile manufacturing—are enabling small players to enter markets once the province of large incumbents.

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