Enabling a customer-centric Supply Chain through 3D printing: an aerospace case study

Elisa Martina Martinelli, Christopher Martin

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

Purpose: The new global context characterized by dynamism, turbulence, volatility and more demanding customers is reshaping many industries. The “New Industrial Revolution”, will require supply chains that are based around digital manufacturing, customer-centricity, value co-creation in a highly networked environment. Three-dimensional printing (3DP), the best known additive manufacturing technology, is gaining the attention of both researchers and practitioners for its enormous potential to face actual world’s changes. This work explores how 3DP has enabled the reconfiguration of a supply chain toward a customer-centric approach, providing new sources of value co-creation across the whole supply chain. Research Approach: This paper explores through qualitative research the ways in which 3DP enables the reconfiguration of a supply chain towards a customer-centric approach to value co-creation. Using a case study from the aerospace sector, one of the leading fields for 3DP applications, the paper describes the realization of the world’s largest-ever printed component for the Trent XWB-97 engine built by Rolls Royce for Airbus. This is the highest performing engine currently that uses additive manufacturing techniques. The inductive analysis is conducted through extensive desk analysis, meetings with industry experts and semi-structured interviews. Findings and Originality: This work underlines that the successful utilization of 3DP in aerospace is made possible by collaboration and coordination between different entities in the supply chain. In particular, the case study highlights how 3DP enables the adoption of an external customer-centric supply chain orientation. This allows the development of the technology and the enabling of four sources of value co-creation that bring benefits for all the supply chain actors. Guidelines for the adoption of a customer centric approach and a framework are identified and provided. Research Impact: The article highlights how the 3DP can contribute to the development of customer centric supply chains. It is also demonstrates how value is co-created and what are the main sources of value co-creation across the whole supply chain. Practical Impact: 3DP enables the reconfiguration of the supply chain utilising a specific external customer centric network. This provides a unique value co-creation opportunity for all the actors involved in the network and for the end customer. Using 3DP, managers can involve different partners to improve efficiency, ‘lock-in’ customers and partners and enable the provision of complementary services.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteLRN
Pagine1-11
Numero di pagine11
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017
EventoAnnual Conference of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Logistics Research Network - Southampton Solent University
Durata: 6 set 20178 set 2017

Convegno

ConvegnoAnnual Conference of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Logistics Research Network
CittàSouthampton Solent University
Periodo6/9/178/9/17

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • customer-centric
  • network reconfiguration
  • supply chain
  • value co-creation

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