When Will “Manufacturing as a Service” Become a Reality?

Supply chan management analyst maintains that manufacturers need to be more flexible, adaptable, and technologically savvy if they are going to survive.

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As a consequence of recent pandemic disruptions, some supply chain experts are predicting that Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) will soon replace the more traditional manufacturing model while

According to Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., we are witnessing a transformation to maximize the customer experience which will enable profitable, scalable, and dramatic business growth.

“The customer experience has changed,” she says. “The need for a faster, flexible and more customer-centric, personalized response has had reverberating effects on manufacturing. Long lead times, predictable demand and traditional inventory management have made way to last-minute order changes, immediate delivery, evolving customer requirements and easy returns.

Anderson also maintains that manufacturers need to be more flexible, adaptable, and technologically savvy if they are going to survive.

“That means they need to embrace innovation and resiliency. In turn, the entire supply chain must be adaptable, flexible and respond to constant change,” she adds.

Much like Software as a Service (SaaS) upended software delivery from machine-based purchase delivery to cloud-based licensing, Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) emerges as a means to be part of product innovation,on-demand scalability and the integration of artificial intelligence and data analytics.

“Think of it like this, Company A is a pharma device company. Through research, they identify a need that will significantly impact patient monitoring and care,” says Anderson. “They have the idea but not the financial resources to scale. By identifying a MAAS partner, they can produce prototypes, make adjustments during testing and identify customization options for customers.”

She concludes that “Company A” can now focus on product development, sales and marketing, while the MaaS partner focuses on managing the supply chain, inventory and transportation to scale and meet demand:

“Where this differs from traditional contract manufacturing is in leveraging the strength of the MaaS partner supply chain by integrating technology and data to drive customization. Manufacturing is evolving.”

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson

Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor specializing in international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He is based in San Francisco, where he provides a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. He may be reached at his downtown office: [email protected].

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