How Digital Manufacturing Accelerates Time to Market and Improves Efficiencies

  The digital supply chain is technology-driven, but peel away the technical layers, and, like most business initiatives, digitalization is really about achieving results faster than traditional means and at lower cost. Digital capabilities and digital manufacturing produces high quality, complex goods in less time, without the traditional handoffs and delays between disciplines. In other words, technology is a prime feature of digital manufacturers, and rapid, flexible production is the prime benefit.

  Beyond speed, a digital supply chain is “on demand” by nature because a company can seamlessly move from design to manufacturing in a few quick steps. Along these lines, finding a contract manufacturer that can incorporate on-demand capability into a company’s supply chain, allows that company to create a supply chain that is truly driven by customer demand, not by (and dependent on) a supplier’s lead time. This can have the added benefit of dramatically improving a company’s operational efficiencies.

  Yes, technology such as 3D computer aided design (CAD) models and networked production machinery are on-demand enablers, but digitalization is really about a rapid response that meets design requirements. Additionally, because production and quality control are part of the same model-driven process, there is much less chance for surprises or delays when it comes to manufacturability or quality.

  This article explores the emergence of digital manufacturers, how they work, tips for choosing digital suppliers, and a brief look at the benefits of using on-demand manufacturing.

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