Dare to be unproductive # 2: the cloud and 3D printing are disrupting the codes of productivity

by bold-lichterman

Frenchweb publishes the correct sheets of the book “Dare to be unproductive», By Davy Rey. He demonstrates that innovation as a whole will allow the emergence of the unproductive enterprise. In this excerpt, the cloud and 3D printing are transforming the structure of the business.

With two billion users in 2015, smartphones and tablets are already the key to everything / everywhere / now. The constantly evolving capacities of wireless networks and technologies will soon make it possible to provide the entire planet with unlimited and ubiquitous access to the Internet… and businesses to reach four or five times as many consumers. But the Internet is a bit like a toaster: it is useless without electricity. The new energy storage capacities will make it possible to supply the most remote regions of the world and make electricity networks more reliable. (…)

The cloud computing is to mobility what Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are to connectivity: a launching pad. This cloud, which grows day by day, allows the organization which stores its information and its applications to have access to it wherever the Internet is accessible (…) The cloud replaces software, the installation of which requires an investment significant, by applications accessible via web browser. Although integration work may still be necessary at start-up, the company that opts for a solution in SaaS (Software as a Service) saves the cost of purchasing the solution and licenses. Instead, she pays a subscription per user, which she can adjust according to her needs. (…) No need to take the risk of buying extensions, which we will only know how to use if they meet the needs of operations. The more the organization sheds its applications, the more it gets rid of its IT equipment and the less it consumes energy and maintenance services. This necessary shift to the cloud turns high fixed costs into lower variable charges. It helps reduce the company’s financing needs and this will be appropriate, because the cost of capital will force most companies to slow down their investments.

Mobility, combined with connectivity, therefore opens up new perspectives for our companies. These two combined evolutions bring out an untapped source of customer value, a refocusing of certain functions around their core activities, while considerably reducing the structure. ”

On the emergence of prosumation and its impacts on the supply chain

“Some models of 3D printers are now worth less than a thousand dollars, and if your business doesn’t already have one, it should be around the corner. Indeed, they are now widely used for rapid prototyping. They allow the teams who use them to quickly materialize, in a few clicks and a few hours, functional models or prototypes. For example, the more or less empty envelope of an electronic device is launched in printing, while the interfaces are developed and simulated on touch screens. The concept, assembled materially, can be tested with the customer or a panel of consumers. Formerly reserved for IT development, the iterative validation of physical products is made possible by 3D printing, from the upstream phases of their development. It provides a solid basis for the dissemination of agile development techniques from the digital world (…) Additive technologies now make it possible to greatly accelerate the marketing of new offers. (…)

If the first techniques produced edges and burrs to be used for finishing, some models are now able to directly print complex mechanisms, that is to say functional assemblies of several parts. These technologies thus make it possible to eliminate all or part of the finishing operations. Less fall and fewer operations: the gains are immediate on the returns. The printing speed remains, for all models, a limit to their use on an industrial scale. Print times do not yet compete with traditional industry cycle times, 3D printing is not yet competitive for production. However, models under development, twenty-five to one hundred times faster, could well arrive on the market in 2016 and constitute a break in the break. (…)

When the speed barrier has fallen (…) only assembly operations will remain, when the sub-assemblies will not be printed directly (…). Still… Stratasys, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printers, is developing a self-forming printing technology in collaboration with MIT. This technique focuses less on the printing step than on the use of materials, whose water absorption properties enable a self-assembly operation. (…) It is easy to understand what this means for the company that uses this technology: printing flat objects, leaving it to the customer to form them himself without assembling them, with the space saving that this generates. in stock and for transport. (…)

And yet, it is on the supply chain that 3D printing could have the most impact in the medium term. Indeed, a large part of consumer goods can be printed locally on order, that is to say a few meters or kilometers from the consumer. No more sea transits lasting several weeks, because economies of scale and labor will no longer compensate for logistics costs. (…)

When purchasing an item, two possibilities will coexist for the consumer. He can print the product himself if it is as “simple” as a toy or a pair of sneakers. And he will be able to withdraw a more complex product in the fab-lab the closest. A fab-lab is a workshop with larger printing and production capacities than a personal printer. It is a center for pooling or making available manufacturing resources including professional 3D printers, basic electronic components and access to open-source databases. (…)

Prosumation relies on 3D printing to achieve what digitization has made possible for digital products, by freeing up distribution channels and democratizing production. Whether the latter is carried out at home or in a fab-lab, 3D printing will make ultra-personalized niche products, such as prostheses or custom-made furniture, accessible to all, while remaining profitable for the companies that will market them. , despite low volumes. In other words, the real revolution of prosumation is that it abrogates the paradigm of the economy of scale and helps to question the foundations of productivity. (…) “

Dare to be unproductiveThe book “Daring unproductivity” by Davy Rey (Lulu.com). This is a questioning of the productivist mechanisms of our companies and a new model refocused on innovation, to improve their performance.

Davy rey is a manager at STEP Consulting, a performance improvement consulting firm. He has been supporting large groups, as well as SMEs and mid-cap companies, for nearly 10 years. But it also maintains a strong link with the world of start-ups and deciphers the major economic and technological changes of our time. For two years, he has tried to summarize it on the professional blog he runs: Perspectives.

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