The Impact of Digitization on Product Offerings: Using Direct Digital Manufacturing in the Supply Chain

Swanson, David
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To remain competitive, supply chain managers must constantly improve their processes and react to ever-growing and evolving customer preferences in a changing business environment. However, many companies have reached diminishing returns for many of their business processes. Digitization has begun to change product offerings and these changes could be the next great source of competitive advantage for supply chain managers. This research uses a demand supply integration framework to examine direct digital manufacturing (DDM) applications being used to change product delivery to consumers. To test hypotheses, press announcements were collected and analyzed with content analysis. We find that, of the implementations of DDM for delivering products to consumers using digitization, 61% are demand-side focused innovations, 39% are supply-side focused innovations, and 9% are both demand-supply integrated innovations.
3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing, Direct Digital Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Innovation
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