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Agile Reinvention at the Speed of Digital

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, summed it up well when he said “In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.”

With over five decades in manufacturing and supply chain, we’ve built experience working with the world’s largest brands, as well as the newest and most exciting startups. And constant change has been the constant – new markets, new technologies, and requests from customers to drive more and more value into their solutions. In short, our task has been to adapt and reinvent to stay ahead of the curve. We have been working hard to adapt fast and adapt first to ensure agility and innovation first and foremost.

Enter the digital thread that strengthens, and enables connected end-to-end production processes.  Jabil’s digital expertise and capability is leveraged daily by its customers to accelerate everything from ideation and rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing and intelligent digital supply chain – providing global visibility and analytics like customers have never seen before. These are the cornerstones of our digital transformation.

Accelerated innovation

There are many factors driving the need to bring innovation to the consumer faster than ever before, not least of which is the changing expectations of consumers. We expect our new products to be available quickly and we expect to be able to order many variations of that product to suit our personal needs and tastes.

Mass customization, connectivity and e-commerce are all revolutionizing the ways consumers select and purchase products. And enabling technologies like 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) are making opportunities to pivot with the trends easier and more compelling every day. AI and VR can be used to accelerate the design and development process. 3D Printing can shorten prototyping cycles, reduce tooling costs during development and make real production-quality parts. And VR can be used to share projects and designs with teams spread around the world. It’s a technology revolution that’s epic in its own right – but I firmly believe it is only the beginning.

Indeed, the very process of innovation is changing. It is no longer about simply designing a product to spec. Today’s world calls for unprecedented levels of value and innovation support. We must help brands explore new markets, introduce new technologies and capabilities, and drive new business model evolution so they can remain competitive and relevant in a digital world. In fact, some of the core brands we work with are exploring embedding IoT technology in their products for the first time. And many of those products – including consumer packages, plumbing fixtures and toothbrushes – are first to market. It is very exciting stuff!

Agile manufacturing underpinned by engineering excellence

Supporting our customers with agility and innovation is what we think about every minute of every day. Volumes and markets shift constantly due to political and demographic changes. Shifting manufacturing to where it needs to be is just part of a complex manufacturing puzzle, and years of engineering experience help us understand how apply engineering rigor to these new technologies.

Take Additive Manufacturing, which is rapidly moving from prototyping to industrialization. We’ve worked with companies like HP to make sure that the same engineering rigor that has been applied to traditional manufacturing methods like surface mount technology (SMT) for decades is applied here with precision. What’s more, the whole world of manufacturing is going through its own digital revolution. Terms like Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Smart Factory are all movements that are driving the manufacturing industry to a more automated, agile, and connected manufacturing environment that not only improves its own processes to drive speed and continuity, but also measures it all along the way. The digital transformation is upon us.

Intelligently orchestrated supply chains

Digital reinvention is most effective when it leverages digital benefit throughout the lifecycle –  from idea to delivery. The supply chain is one hugely critical component.

 Fifty years of supply chain experience goes a long way, but creating tools to manage supply chains with hundreds of thousands of parts, thousands of vendors and consumers all around the world is essential. And Jabil has led the digital transformation of the supply chain with the invention of its award-winning InControl, a powerful analytics and decision support solution that diminishes risk and cost and ensures agility and efficiency.

The digital thread that spans the supply chain calls for disruptive innovation achieved through agile reinvention. True digital transformation relies on a strong foundation of design, innovation, technology, and speed that drives a broad set of outcomes for the company, its employees, and its customers. There are tremendous benefits to be gained!

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