Wednesday, October 9, 2013
21st Century Supply Chains: Challenges and Opportunities for Executives
Through this week’s articles, I realized that a distributed and easy manufacturing and shipping model have encouraged a host of entrepreneurs. It has improved collaboration and collective effort. In some cases it could prove to be disruptive. I am going to discuss opportunities which the new age supply chain and manufacturing model have created in the eyewear industry.
Traditionally, eyewear- either fashionable or prescription based -had a long supply chain. The glasses came from glass manufactures, the opticians took orders for prescription based eyewear, displayed models which were manufactured already. There was limited customization and long wait times.
Now, with the advent of 3-d printing, some entrepreneurs have explored eyewear and possibly resolved the problem of customization. PROTOS is an eyewear manufacturing company which uses 3D printing. They pride themselves on selling customized eye frames. They ask users to take snapshots and design frames according to the facial size. They also give you the option to upload a design of the specs you want. Once they have your prescription they ask their in house optician to set the glasses into the frame and ship it over.
PROTOS is not the only company in custom eyewear manufacturing using 3D printing. There is also MYKITA a Berlin based company. They have expanded to using a patented technology to use 3D printing to manufacture sturdy frames.
3D printing and shortening supply chain gaps have given rise to new industries. Eyewear is one of them and could disrupt the traditional brick and mortar stores since customization which was the problem earlier has been eliminated.
Do you think that custom eyewear using 3D printing could disrupt the traditional eyewear industry?