Summary of The Pan-Industrial Revolution

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Richard D’Aveni of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business paints an almost breathless vision of how a cutting-edge manufacturing technology could transform everything from the production of consumer products to the function of the global economy. The new technology, called additive manufacturing (AM), is easy to get excited about. The AM category covers 3D printing and other methods that make products by “printing” them, layer by layer, or in some cases, molecule by molecule. As the technology advances, it is rapidly becoming more mainstream. D’Aveni argues that it will eventually dominate manufacturing, setting off a chain of disruption as AM replaces traditional economies of scale with economies of scope. He foresees the rise of the “pan-industrials,” titanic companies that will dominate the world economy by building value chains of unprecedented size and complexity and constructing the platforms – the mix of software, data analytics, and social networking – that will make it all run.

About the Author

Richard D’Aveni is the Bakala Professor of Strategy at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. For 30 years he has been a top international strategy consultant.

 

Summary

The era of “pan-industrial” businesses is on the horizon.

The rise of 3D printing and other “additive manufacturing” (AM) technology promises not only to revolutionize how goods are made but also to transform the global economy. This rapidly advancing technology is likely to help give birth to new types of business “platforms” – vast networks that use digital communication technology combined with the data-rich environment of the cloud to connect machines, manufacturers, suppliers and customers.

The combination of AM and platforms may produce a completely new type of business entity: the “pan-industrial” firm. The pan-industrials will be gigantic, global entities that function like conglomerates on steroids. These businesses will overcome the obstacles that hobbled diversified companies of the past to achieve unparalleled levels of efficiency, agility, diversification, and inventiveness. 

Additive manufacturing (AM) will provide the catalyst for change.

The term “additive manufacturing” refers to production in which machines add small amounts of raw material together to build a larger part or product. Most conventional manufacturing has...


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