In a prior post of this series, I explained why it is wise to (re)SWOT your business with 3D printing* in mind and in another one I suggested assessing the potential Threats your organization could be facing. In this post, it’s about Opportunities offered by the new manufacturing ways.
*I use “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing” interchangeably
Reminder: with the recent progresses in 3D printing (and 3D scanning) with regards to materials that can be 3D printed, every business is potentially at risk to discover a 3D printed substitute offered by an unsuspected and probably unknown competitor.
Yet what is a threat to some is an opportunity to others. The ability to offer a faster, cheaper, highly customized or whatever new product or alternative offer incredible new opportunities.
3D printing may break many barriers to entry, opening wide the gateway to previously protected markets.
Any competitor should evaluate the emerging opportunities to redefine the rules in his/her business with additive manufacturing and the opportunities to diversify or expand into new markets.
Some questions to assess the potential Opportunities your organization could be considering
The intent of the following questions is to make you think about the potential opportunities of a 3D printed product. The list of questions may evolve and readers are welcome to suggest additional or alternate ones (please use the comments).
- Can you imagine any way 3D printing being applied in your business?
- If 3D printing would be used in your business, what would it be for?
- Can you think about a (more) disruptive way 3D printing could be used in your business?
- What 3D printable product or substitute, if it (would) exist, may give you a cutting edge competitive advantage?
- Could you offer a 3D printed substitute to existing products? What would its advantages be? What new or additional value would it bring? Would your customers want it?
- Can you imagine expanding your business entering a new market (or segment) with a 3D printed product?
- Are there any barriers to entry to a protected market you’ve considered that could be taken down with 3D printing / additive manufacturing?
You may have noticed that these questions are very similar to those about Threats. It is no surprise as opportunities for some are threats for others.
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