This research focuses on the evolution and adoption of rapid production. We investigate the ways novel rapid production technology offers competitive advantage to companies, and argue that benefiting from this technology requires significant changes in business beyond manufacturing. The study is centered on core areas that need to be addressed when adopting such rapid production technology: business models, processes, IPR, industry characteristics, product/service transition, logistics and materials. Of note, whereas 3D printing has been praised as the "next big thing" in personal fabrication, it is just a stage in an ongoing transition from rapid prototyping toward rapid manufacturing. In the study, we establish and discuss two frameworks: 1) evolutionary steps in rapid production, and 2) key business imperatives to be addressed when adopting rapid production technology. We conclude by arguing that all firms should adopt rapid production technology to avoid becoming at a disadvantage.
- Production systems