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How to Plan On-Demand Manufacturing & Iterative Product Design

This PSFK Guide is a product manufacturing innovation report for organizations to reimagine product design and delivery, while improving sustainability and CX.

Executive Summary

Driven by ongoing disruptions in the global supply chain, brands and retailers are bringing manufacturing and design processes closer to the consumer – both physically and digitally. New strategies help identify unmet needs in the marketplace, enable enhanced customization at scale, and bring products closer to their end consumers. These new manufacturing techniques save transaction costs, give companies more oversight on production, and power more ethical and sustainable supply chains.

Report Overview

To support companies as they consider new processes and initiatives to meet emerging consumer needs, the PSFK research team has identified the 5 key innovation strategies shaping future product design and manufacturing. Developed through the lens of technological advancements, digital behaviors, and sustainable business models, these trends highlight the innovative ways organizations are reimagining not only product design, but the final consumer experience as well.

What You’ll Learn In This Report

  • To better meet consumer needs, how companies are utilizing new types of data to inform front-end R&D as well as operational decision making.
  • How businesses are leveraging creative AI applications to streamline product concepting and design phases and using 3D printing techniques to build a more efficient on-demand manufacturing model, effectively moving away from mass to bespoke.
  • Why production lines are being reconfigured into smaller footprints, allowing factories to be located closer to the communities they serve.
  • Why brands are embracing more agile processes across product development and production.
  • How digital tools such as AI, AR, and 3D printing can bring consumers into the production process as collaborators, which in turn creates new opportunities to gather insights, feedback and data in real-time, closing the loop between needs and finished products.
  • By giving consumers greater control and confidence over their purchase decisions, how companies can not only drive repeat sales but reduce operational and environmental costs associated with unsold merchandise and returns.

What’s In This Report?

For this product manufacturing innovation report, the PSFK research team has identified the 5 key strategies shaping future product design and manufacturing. Developed through the lens of technological advancements, digital behaviors, and sustainable business models, these strategies highlight the innovative ways organizations are reimagining not only product design, but the final consumer experience as well.

This product manufacturing innovation report provides:

  • 5 product manufacturing strategies showcasing innovation around production and manufacturing
  • 25 best-in-class examples of how AI, Data and On-Demand Production are responding to changing consumer needs
  • Proprietary statistics from PSFK US Shopper Survey, Radical Approaches To Product Manufacturing & Design, 2022
  • Consumer insights into changing behaviors and expectations around production and manufacturing
  • Case studies from Amazon, ASICS, FARFETCH, IBM, PepsiCo, Ralph Lauren, Sperry, Timberland and Unilever and leading solution providers identified

Original Insights & Statistics In This Report

  • Consumers are demanding that manufacturers take environmental measures such as sustainably sourcing components and ingredients or employing a production process that reduces waste. In fact, 3 in every 5 US shoppers say they are influenced to buy products from companies with responsible manufacturing.
  • While many people find what they’re looking for when shopping, there’s a significant portion who need help finding products that are physically right for them. Over 45% of US shoppers say they seldom or never typically find the perfect size, shape or fit.
  • In addition, while shoppers are interested in bespoke products made on-demand, there’s a limit to the amount of personal information they are willing to share today. 57% of US shoppers say they would only share a little or moderate amount of data to brands and retailers in order to be offered products that are the right size & shape. 14% of shoppers say they don’t want to share any data at all.
  • While many US shoppers are happy to have their goods made anywhere in North America (31%) (or even the world (15%)), a high proportion are looking for locally made products. 48% of US shoppers would prefer to buy from companies that make their products within 100 miles of where they live.
  • Also, as eCommerce grows, the environmental impact of deliveries increases too. 43% of US shoppers are concerned or very concerned about the environmental impact made by the shipping and deliveries of their online shopping. Only 7% say they are not concerned at all.

Who Prepared This Report?

This product manufacturing innovation report was developed by the same PSFK research department that since 2004 has provided trends-led innovation consulting advice to Apple, BMW, Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Volkswagen.