Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I Thought FEDEX Was Best For My 3D Printing Model

I received a lot of comments about my post yesterday concerning 3D printing and how I think FEDEX is really set up to exploit this opportunity.  Many of the comments pointed out there are other similar companies to FEDEX (such as DHL) who could do the final mile delivery.  However, I have not found the discussion compelling as none of them possess the extensive storefronts which are set up as printers already.

Yes, UPS purchased Mailboxes etc. to try to do something similar however there is a big difference.  The FEDEX Office (formerly Kinkos) locations are set up to print and produce where the UPS offices are essentially private post offices.  The keys to being able to exploit the advent of 3D printing are:

  1. Locations which are local and already established to do the printing.
  2. A brand which is already very trusted.
  3. A process which people are already familiar with such as sending your documents for printing. 
  4. An integrated final mile delivery network to do the final delivery of the "printed" material. 
Think of the FEDEX office location as the "transporter room" in the enterprise for Star Trek.  In the United States, no one has such an extensive and integrated network.

I have no idea if FEDEX is thinking of this however my speculation is they are keeping a good eye on the developments. 

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