HP and Deloitte manufacturing alliance

Published: August 24th, 2017

HP Inc. and Deloitte are partnering with the goal of accelerating the digital transformation of the global manufacturing industry and they say the first hill to summit in that battle is 3D printing operations in large-scale manufacturing environments.

In a phone call with media, executives from the two firms described their alliance as an “historic first” that would be addressing a $12 trillion manufacturing industry. So far digital transformation has been a term bandied about by vendors targeting businesses that target consumers – retailers, financial institutions, and the like – but HP and Deloitte are taking that trend further up the supply chain.

The first focus will be on HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions and its established channel partner eco-system. Deloitte will add its global reach to clients and the relationships its forged in the manufacturing sector, plus a skill set addressing modernization of supply chains for large companies.

The partnership will bring an enterprise-class approach to transformation projects at manufacturing companies, says Scott Schiller, global head of customer and market developing for 3D printing business at HP Inc. It’s about more than seeing Deloitte resell HP technology, it’s about working with customers in a collaborative way.

HP and Deloitte - 3D printing
HP and Deloitte say that 3D printing is now advanced enough to be used in industry manufacturing processes. Click to see larger image.

“The business processes have to change,” he says. “Technology has to be implemented at the factory level.”

HP sees 3D printing as a viable replacement technology of existing manufacturing processes now, Schiller says. While it’s been used mostly for prototyping and design testing, the technology’s not at the stage that it can be used for production-grade products. But supporting that change will take some work.

“If you think about digitization all the way from design to manufacturing, there’s a whole range of competencies that need to be addressed,” Schiller says. “It’s about a shift from something constrained to something that’s more efficient.”

HP and Deloitte - supply chain process
Changing manufacturing to a new technology will mean reworking supply chain processes. Click for a larger image.

And that’s where Deloitte’s professional services will come in. Its Supply Chain and Manufacturing Operations practice will play an important role in helping the organization make use of 3D printing in their supply chain. That could mean a shake up for how the existing manufacturing organization functions.

“All of these industries have potential to get massive gains in productivity and revenue,” said Doug Gish, a principal service line leader in supply chain and manufacturing operations at Deloitte Consulting. “This is a unique opportunity in history to transform industries that haven’t transformed for decades.”

Both HP and Deloitte point to their client base and partners as examples of how 3D printing solutions are already having an impact on the operations of major global brands. HP says its printing solutions are used by BMW Group, Johnson & Johnson, and Nike, for example. Deloitte works with technology brands including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, SAP, and Siemens, among others.

The alliance will begin in the U.S. but then expand around the world. Expect to see solutions that combine Deloitte’s professional services with HP’s managed print, device-as-a-service, commercial mobilty, and cybersecurity offerings too.