Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New trend in Supply Chain

What is a new trend in supply chain?

In the near future, individuals or small-and-mid-sized enterprises (SME) will take center stage on production. They will design and plan products, then have a high volume manufacturing through outsourced supply chain, while up until now, only big firms have managed a whole supply chain. This movement has already begun.


One of the examples of this new trend is the Pebble watch. It is a smartwatch developed by Pebble Technology and delivered in January 2013[2]. Now Pebble Technology begins to churn out 15,000 watches per week. This watch has been developed by just five engineers for five years and funded by the crowd funding, Kickstarter since April  2012. As the result, this project got eighty five thousands orders and huge fundraise-money, over ten million dollars while its initial fundraising target was one hundred thousand dollars[1]. The reason why Pebble Technology could gather many funds is that this product has fascinating specifications. First of all, it can communicate with Android or iOS device, using Bluetooth. Second, it provides developers with open SDK which enables user to add other applications like measuring physical exercise or running distance. Finally, it runs 8 days without charging[3]. Although Pebble Technology designed this watch, they have outsourced the processes of supply chain, like planning, manufacturing, packaging, managing inventory, and logistics, to PCH International which offers transportation, sustainable production and supply chain management services to various kinds of clients, from Fortune 500 to innovative start-ups[4].

Pabble watch
Source:  Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android by Pebble Technology[1]

The advantage of new supply chain

This movement shows supply chain is now open to not only manufacturing companies but also individuals and SME. This new-type supply chain helps people to release an idea buried in individuals’ mind. Even individuals who do not have enough money can have an opportunity to come out with innovative products and mass-produce them, utilizing cloud funding and outsourced supply chain. Even though a product is developed by individual idea, of course, it can make good business sense since this supply chain aims at mass-production.


- What kinds of measures do big companies take against this new type supply chain?

1. Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android by Pebble Technology — Kickstarter. (n.d.). Kickstarter. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android

2.thinking. (n.d.). Pebble smartwatch now shipping, but expect to wait a while for yours | VentureBeat. VentureBeat | Tech. People. Money.. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/23/pebble-smartwatch-shipping/

3. Lee, T. (n.d.). Pebble smart watch plays nice with iOS and Android devices | Ubergizmo. Ubergizmo. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/04/pebble-smart-watch-plays-nice-with-ios-and-android-devices/

4. Outsourced supply chain. (n.d.). Social Design News. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from 

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