The Healthcare Roller Coaster Part 3
In part two of our white paper series on healthcare, we ended with a brief discussion about additive manufacturing and the enormous impact it’s going to have on the supply chain industry. Product packaging and the chemical supply chain for manufacturing drugs and medical devices are just two areas expected to undergo major change.
Companies are always evolving and changing, but at some point in an industry growth cycle, the change is so drastic the entire industry is affected. The healthcare industry is currently on the brink of such an event—an event that will drive the radical industry shifts we described in parts one and two of this series.
Additive manufacturing will revolutionize the healthcare industry—and many other industries for that matter. It will do what Dell’s innovative supply chain model did to inventory practices, what the iPhone did to the cellular phone industry and what Facebook did to social media. The Economist called additive manufacturing “momentous” in their April 2012 article, “The Third Industrial Revolution”.
Most industries follow a similar trajectory of growth:
Starting Point: This is the point where a few small innovative companies exist. They discover the revolution not knowing the future disruption it will cause. These small companies begin and then succeed because they are aggressive, entrepreneurial, make significant investments in R&D, but also lack overhead and layers of management.
High Growth: At this stage, additional small and medium-sized companies enter the market creating a space full of startups sure to develop over time; many new “idealistic” products and services are developed.
Saturation: Industry saturation means there are many companies of all shapes and sizes. Competition thickens, the underdogs are forced out or acquired, and the market begins to stabilize. Only those products and services that offer tangible value remain while others fade away.
Maturity: Think of the Big Three automakers, the leading ERP companies, or the major hotel chains. These companies arose from the ashes as the primary players in their markets. Now behemoths, they have slam-dunked the competition, own the niche and created smaller, utility players along the way.
And then it begins again. The cycle starts with the inevitable development of “the next big thing” and propels the market in a new direction. Remember, if you were a winner in the old paradigm, chances are you will struggle in the new paradigm.