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商业 - 科技

科技开创全民制造时代

Saul Kaplan 2013年03月01日

3D打印技术的到来,将意味着我们人人都能成为制造工厂,全民制造的时代正在向我们招手。它同时也意味着各种行业将面临巨大变革,传统制造业和服务业之间的界限将变得越来越模糊。

    美国总统奥巴马在国情咨文演讲中把制造业工作岗位当作美国经济发展蓝图中的重头戏。他说:“我们首要的任务,是要把美国变成新的制造业工作岗位的吸铁石。”我支持奥巴马复兴制造业的目标和热情,但是要实现这个目标,我们首先要抛弃工业时代的旧思想。工业时代已经一去不返了,同时消失的还有美国1979年至2012年间在美国消亡的710万个制造业岗位。我们必须建立能够利用美国现有优势的21世纪的制造业岗位。随着我们加快利用科技促进产能,美国的制造业一定会再次增长,而且会催生为大规模定制化生产服务的新商业模式,释放我们所有人的制造才能。

    首先,我们需要认识到,制造并不单纯的是一个产业部门,而是一种能力,其中蕴含着许多创新机会。只是目前我们理所当然地把它看成一个产业部门。工业时代的“产业”就像一个个俱乐部,每个产业都有各自的准入标准和暗箱操作,只向那些同意按规则出牌的公司敞开。工业时代是由一个个界定清晰的产业构成的,我们很容易就能把每家公司归类到一个个产业部门里。看似颇有君子之风,就好像大家都在监督之下公平竞争,就像拳击赛一样,人人都要按规则出招。每个企业都会有一个标准产业代码(SIC)(现为北美产业分类系统,简称NAICS),用来确定各自属于哪个产业部门。

    但是这样的日子已经结束了。各个产业的运行规则也不复如旧,工业时代也一去不返。谷歌(Google)到底是一家生产商还是服务商,或者两者兼而有之?谷歌收购摩托罗拉移动(Motorola Mobility),在美国生产Nexus Q家庭媒体播放器,表明谷歌在非常认真地打造自己的生产能力。苹果(Apple)算生产商还是服务商,又或两者兼而有之呢?现在我们已经很难指出生产商和服务商之间的区别,而且二者之间的区别也很有限。如今生产商和服务商之间的界限正在渐渐模糊。以iPod为例,苹果并不是第一个推出MP3播放器的厂家。但是苹果把它的产品(iPod)和服务(iTunes)捆绑推出后,给我们带来了一种新的价值定位,改变了我们体验音乐的方式。苹果看待竞争的角度与其他产品生产商不同,苹果并不是抢占市场,而是在创造市场。

    工业时代的思维方式以及NAICS产业代码使企业的思维模式陷入窠臼,它们的业务模式不是以产品为中心,就是以服务为中心。这是一种错误的选择。生产一种产品,并不意味着一家公司只能在某个市场里竞争。把一家公司定位成生产商会限制业务模式的创新机会。如果我们希望重振美国的制造业,我们必须改变对制造业的思维模式。

    In his State of the Union Address, President Obama made a big deal about manufacturing jobs as a central part of his economic vision for the country. "Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs in manufacturing", he proclaimed. I support the president's aim and passion to revive manufacturing, but to accomplish it we first have to jettison industrial era thinking. The industrial era and the 7.1 million manufacturing jobs lost in the U.S. from 1979 to 2012 aren't coming back. We must create new 21st century manufacturing jobs that leverage what America is great at, creativity and innovation. Manufacturing will grow in the U.S. when we accelerate the use of technology to increase productivity, enable new business models designed for mass customization and unleash the manufacturers in all of us.

    To begin, we need to recognize that manufacturing isn't an industry sector, it's a capability with plenty of opportunity for innovation. We take industry sector definitions for granted. As if industries were clubs with exclusive admission criteria and secret handshakes only revealed to companies that agree to play by understood rules. The industrial era was defined by clearly delineated industries, making it easy to identify which sector every company was competing in. It was all so gentlemanly really, as if competition was governed, like boxing, by a code of generally accepted Marquess of Queensberry rules. Companies were all assigned a numerical Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (now North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS) identifying which industry sector they fit in to.

    Those days are over. Industries don't work that way any more, the industrial era isn't coming back. Is Google (GOOG) a manufacturer or a service provider or both? Their acquisition of Motorola Mobility and U.S. production of the Nexus Q home media player suggest Google is serious about building manufacturing capability. Is Apple (AAPL) a manufacturer or a service provider or both? It's hard to tell the difference between a manufacturer and a service provider and the distinction is limiting. Today the lines are blurring. Think iPod. Apple didn't bring the first MP3 player to the market. It changed the way we experienced music by delivering on a value proposition that bundled product (iPod) and service (iTunes). Apple didn't view the competition as other product manufacturers Apple is a market maker not a share-taker.

    Industrial-era thinking and NAICS industry codes force companies into characterizing their business models as being either product- or service-focused. This is a false choice. Making a product doesn't define the market a company is creating or competing in. Describing a business as a manufacturer immediately constrains business model innovation opportunities. If we want to bring back manufacturing we have to start by changing our thinking about manufacturing.

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