The purpose of a supply chain is to move goods and services around the world to meet user demand. And over decades, we’ve built coupled-networks based on principles of regionalization or centralization of function, location, and cost efficiency. COVID is an example of the uncertainty supply chains face on a day-to-day basis derived from old-school thinking and design. Imagine a world where supply chains are flipped upside down, a world where we send files, not parts? No more sourcing disruptions, carrying costs, late shipments, MoQs, obsolete inventory and environmental impacts. Manufacturing parts when and where they are needed through a distributed network of local manufacturers is here. A world that empowers the end consumer to produce what is needed on-demand through cloud based technology, including recycling on site in a circular transition?
I recently chatted with CEO of Ivaldi Group, Espen Sivertsen, to talk about the future of digital supply chains using digital distribution, on-demand additive manufacturing, industrial sustainability, and the power of diversity in technology. Espen is currently part of the SAP.iO Foundry bootcamp and shares observations he’s gathered from Silicon Valley and beyond, that diversity fuels innovation (read that again). The segments Ivaldi serves in digital distribution include maritime, industrial, mining, energy (gas turbines and power plants), and automotive.
As production tools such as 3D printing, robotic fabrication and other CNC systems get faster, better and cheaper, an increasing range of parts can be cost-effective to manufacture on-demand. Digital distribution is fundamentally changing supply chain dynamics as user-needs supplant centralized manufacturing limitations as the driving force in the industry.