The global pandemic has impacted the way we do business, likely indefinitely. With significant disruption to global supply chains, companies have been left scrambling to find more stable long-term solutions on how they do business.
The pandemic has also accelerated significant digital transformation—especially within the manufacturing industry. For engineers and product developers, bringing high-quality products to market quickly and cost-efficiently is critical. And for manufacturers, addressing the urgent needs of those customers is top priority.
With these dynamics in mind, we are seeing several trends emerge/continue across On-Demand Digital Manufacturing in 2022.
1. A Move to Onshoring
As supply chains continue to be strained, more and more companies are turning to onshoring to alleviate some of that pain and take better control of their supply chain. Sourcing from overseas has become too risky. This is driving the rise in the number of companies that want to work with USA-based on-demand digital manufacturers. Given disruptions and uncertainty in supply chains, companies prefer something more predictable in both quality and lead time, even if that means sacrificing the savings at times. Getting products to market quickly is critical for industries like medical devices, automotive, aerospace, and defense industries, and any method to reduce risk from supply chain issues is valuable.
2. Diversification of Suppliers
Historically, companies have relied on a handful of manufacturers to source their products, but we are seeing a shift away from this. They want to diversify their suppliers to help alleviate potential supply chain issues and create a more agile supply chain. This goes hand-in-hand with onshoring—the desire to source from USA-based manufacturers and more of them as a way to regionalize and diversify their supply chains. This move brings stability and a sense of security to the supply chain
3. Evolution of Digital Manufacturing
Digital manufacturing goes together with quality and speed. Delivering a high-quality product in a timely fashion makes digital manufacturers valuable for developing prototypes or executing a low-volume production. It helps streamline the product lifecycle by shortening the time from development to production. Manufacturers continue to invest in technology to advance their digital manufacturing process. From bringing automation to the quoting of a project from a CAD file to leveraging e-commerce portals to help with the fulfillment process, we see an Amazon-like experience come to manufacturing. Companies want to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with them—from order to payment to delivery—there is an innovative evolution occurring in the processes used by digital manufacturers.
4. New Manufacturing Solutions
Given the growing demand for local on-demand digital manufacturers, we are seeing companies add more manufacturing solutions to their platforms. Solutions include things like sheet metal, laser cutting, and die cutting. Additional services post-production are also being added to the mix, such as part post-processing and assembly. Some manufacturers are offering raw materials as a service to their customers in an effort to be considered as a one-stop-shop.
Xcentric continues to evolve and improve as a company and constantly takes steps to improve our overall experience. We are witnessing these trends first-hand and adjusting to meet the changing needs of our customers. From increasing capacity by 40% in our Michigan manufacturing facility to meeting the growing demand caused by onshoring and supplier diversification to further enhancing our technology, to make doing business with us easy. We continue to improve our customer portal, the quote process, and have recently launched the ability to pay by credit card online. We are excited to embrace these trends and help address the changing needs of our customer base.
Founded in 1996, Xcentric Mold & Engineering is an innovator of on-demand digital manufacturing and continues to lead advances in injection molding and rapid prototyping. We know what it takes to deliver a high-quality product on time and on budget. Xcentric is engineered to be nimble, employs a team of experts in injection molding, and takes an engineer-centric approach to everything we do. Tens of thousands of product developers and engineers across North America trust Xcentric to bring their products to life.