The speed of change: Both a challenge and an opportunity for property investment
Do you remember when you were a kid and it was Christmas Eve... It was so exciting, you weren't sure what was going to be under the Christmas tree. Well, it's going to be Christmas eve, for a while.Tim Cook
These were the words used by Apple boss Tim Cook at his company’s last shareholder meeting to describe the ongoing fast-paced technological change ahead of us.
NEW METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES WILL DRIVE CHANGE
Technological innovation will change design, production and consumer behaviour, revolutionising processes as we know them today. The overriding goal will be to provide customers with the desired individually adapted product as quickly as possible. The methods here are Industry 4.0, production on demand and other process-oriented models. The tools will be the Internet of Things, robotics, 3D printing, big data technologies and the like. Fast adaptation to these methods and technologies and their consistent application will be the deciding factors when it comes to market success. Companies such as the Iberian fashion corporation Inditex (which owns Zara, for example) were highly successful with lead time compression – eliminating dead time in the design, production and delivery cycle. But mass production ultimately remained the logical basis.
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT LEADS TO INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES MOVING BACK TO THE HOME COUNTRY
The idea of production on demand goes one step further: here, manufacture of the product is triggered when the customer places their order. The aim is to achieve a fast response and the capacity for product customisation on a mass scale by shifting production back into the sales market while cutting costs through the mass deployment of automation. Adidas has demonstrated this with a new plant for sports shoes in Bavaria: shoes are made at the request of the customer, taking just four hours from order input to completion and therefore theoretically capable of being delivered to the customer within 24 hours – a quantum leap as compared to current production times of approx. 3.5 months in Asia.