Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 13

ROBERT T. O'BRIEN AND MARK COTTELEER | COLUMN BY

Robert T. O'Brien is the U.S. and Global Leader of Deloitte's real
estate practice and a partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP. Contact
him at robrien@deloitte.com. Mark Cotteleer is the Managing
Director of the Center for Integrated Research of Deloitte Services
LP. He can be reached at mcotteleer@deloitte.com.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 manufacturing-today.com

13

O P E R AT I O N S

L EADERSHIP

T H E B AT T E RY S H OW

P RO F I TA B I L I T Y

L AST PAGE

C OVER STORY

M ANAGEMENT

When looking at the impact of 3-D
printing on facility location strategies, executives should also think
about how these technologies can be
used to maintain and upgrade facilities themselves. From the construction of new facilities to the enhancement of existing sites, 3-D printing
technologies present an opportunity

S U P P LY C H A I N

Where Do Manufacturers
Go Next?

E MPLOYEES

process. This essentially means that
manufacturers will have the option
to move to a "build-to-order" model
rather than "build-to-stock," which
will allow them to connect, customize, and sell directly to customers.
While the impact of 3-D printing on
warehouse location and capacities
will not happen overnight, some manufacturers with a lot of inventory -
including auto and heavy equipment
- are already considering the implications of these technologies on their
warehousing strategies and adjusting
course accordingly.

D IALOGUE

C ONTENTS

T ECHNOLOGY

N EWS

A ERODEF MANUFACTURING 2017

AH
S R EXPO 2017

M A N U FA C T U R I N G

C ANADA MANUFACTURING

L E A N

F ABTECH

SERVICE

SPACE TECH EXPO

ly see the impact of 3-D printing on
warehouses is in long tail inventory.
Heavy equipment or durable goods
manufacturers are obliged by market practices or law to maintain an
inventory of products or spare parts
for their various models, including
ones that were manufactured decades
ago and are even retired from production. This is an expensive practice, as
manufacturers need to house, track,
and insure these products, in addition
to the tooling required for products
that may sit unused for decades. Once
a manufacturer sells the last part -
of which they may sell only one per
year - they must engage in bespoke
production, producing large quantities relative to near term customer
demand and necessitating continued
warehousing of the product.
Here, we predict that 3-D printing
technologies will allow manufacturers to move to a model where they can
simply print these products on demand, drawing down inventory stores
and improving balance sheets in the

to increase efficiency and boost the
bottom line.
For one, 3-D printing will likely speed
up the construction process on new facilities. The freedom of form that 3-D
printing offers means that buildings do
not have to conform to the standard
square box, and with layer-by-layer
building, manufacturers can customize
their facilities to maximize efficiency. This includes the ability to embed
sensors within the building in order
to monitor the variables such as temperature and moisture that protect and
preserve a facility's environment. 3-D
printing technologies can also help to
optimize management in older facilities, offering a quick solution for replacing assembly line parts and ultimately
driving down operational costs.
3-D printing will inevitably serve a
role within the constellation of manufacturing technologies transforming
this sector. We believe its impact will
be widespread, spanning across the
production of goods, the supply chain,
warehousing, and facility location
strategies. In the industrial space, 3-D
printing of goods may even promote
reshoring of manufacturing to the U.S.
as costs are reduced and facilities become more efficient.
Most importantly though, 3-D printing technologies are set to transform
the last mile and bring manufacturing closer to the ultimate consumers.
While these changes won't happen
overnight, manufacturers should start
to consider now how they can position
their operations and corporate strategies to eventually benefit from the 3-D
printing technologies that are quickly
taking hold throughout the market. mt


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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