Manufacturing-as-a-Service - threat or opportunity for your SME?

Pieter Kesteloot
Pascal Pollet

New white paper highlights emerging disruptive business model

The business model has been around for some time and is now on its way to definitively and radically changing the nature of supplier competition: Manufacturing-as-a-service (MaaS). New players with online services, extensive digitisation and a bundling of production capacity are moving into the market. How should SMEs respond to this disruption? Sirris has published a white paper in which we explain what MaaS is, the players and the mechanisms behind the business model and provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about how your SME can respond to this development. You can now download this white paper for free.

“According to a recent Paperless Parts survey of more than 400 U.S. manufacturing parts buyers and engineers, 67 percent of respondents expect a quote within 24 hours, while only 6 percent are willing to wait longer than three days.”

More and more suppliers are offering an online service for many customised production processes. Thanks to extensive digitalisation, advanced technologies and extensive production capacity, a manufacturing company can provide a fast and high-quality quotation, production and delivery for customised parts and components. At the same time, an increasing number of marketplaces for the manufacturing industry are offering a networked production model that links locally and globally distributed production resources of supplier manufacturers with the demands of companies and consumers. These online marketplaces manage and organise production via cloud services and offer it as a 'one-stop-shop' solution. With this new generation of suppliers, the manufacture of a product has become an accessible online service. The simplicity of these online services, the transparency and speed of delivery are transforming the competitive environment.

A new white paper, prepared by Sirris experts, provides insight into this new generation of suppliers and the pillars on which they depend. It outlines the challenges involved as well as ways for SMEs to respond to this new competitive Manufacturing-as-a-Service (MaaS) environment in a timely manner.

Fierce competition or opportunity?

For many SMEs, MaaS remained under the radar for too long, but extensive technology-driven digitalisation, automation of the production system and rapid growth has led more and more companies to see both the impact and potential of this development. The disruptive business model of these digital production companies and marketplaces competes via new performance criteria. These include the simplicity of ordering custom parts, ultra-short lead times, tools for analysing manufacturability and access to state-of-the-art production capacity. All this, moreover, is taking place within a wider range of production technologies and for increasingly complex products.

Many manufacturing companies, concerned about this new, rapidly growing competition, are looking for a positioning or solution to avoid missing the boat and are experimenting with participation in online marketplaces or are outsourcing production when there is a shortfall in capacity. Do their customers - now or in the near future - also want a comparable, state-of-the-art service? And where and when does this become critical to winning an order?

In the new white paper (in Dutch) '' Manufacturing-as-a-Service. Online, on-demand en supersnel toeleveren' ('Manufacturing-as-a-Service. Online, on-demand and super-fast delivery'), we take a closer look at how an SME can respond to the arrival of MaaS, based on some obvious questions, ranging from positioning and specialisation to options such as QRM and automation.

Download white paper


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