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The phrase "manufacturing on demand" (MOD) is a manufacturing process wherein goods are produced when or as they are required. In traditional manufacturing, an assembly line works on standard shifts to produce large quantities of products, which are then kept in storage facilities until they are ready for shipping. With manufacturing on demand, the system is a bit different — scalable and adjustable assembly and manufacturing processes work to complete customized packages based on real-time or current data from a client.
Manufacturing on demand is also known as on-demand manufacturing.
In many ways, manufacturing on demand has been made possible through advances in technology such as 3-D printing and laser cutting. With highly technical and customizable equipment, and a highly adjustable workforce and assembly line, a third-party company can offer different types of manufacturing on demand. For example, a client company could call up and order a run of several hundred specific parts. This third-party company would create a prototype or template, or work from a client’s template, and then use 3-D printing, laser cutting or other on-site methods to create the volume that was demanded in a purchase order. This leads to much leaner inventory, which allows companies to save money in supply chain execution.