The vaccines might be here, but how will we scale manufacturing?
One of the earliest canaries in the Twitter mine back in January was Bob Nelson, one of the most successful biotech investors and managing partner of Arch Venture Partners. From his perch, he was able to extrapolate the exponential growth of COVID19 and understand what was about to happen to all of us.
Nelson has been busy in the intervening months re-imaging the model of how drugs, treatments, and vaccines are made. His investment firm recently launched a new company – aptly named Resilience – to accelerate the pace of scientific advancement in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and to solve for supply chain risks, shocks, and security. Resilience raised over $800 million in this round to massively scale up an onshore-based (US and Canada) biopharma supply chain.
As SaaS has been combined and replicated into hardware, equipment, and devices, many XaaS or Everything-as-a-Service concepts remain stuck because our aging manufacturing systems, methods, and mindsets are not ready for change. For all of the major advancements in IoT, robotics, and factory automation this year, we keep seeing in customer interviews that those responsible for changing how things are made are still running into blocks and delays.
It seems there will be industries that reinvent manufacturing and those that think of the factory as the very thing to reinvent. Elon Musk’s approach has always been not just to make a car or spaceship, but to think of the factory as you would a product.
“We realized that the true problem, the true difficulty, and where the greatest potential is – is building the machine that makes the machine. In other words, it’s building the factory. I’m really thinking of the factory like a product.” – Elon Musk
What does this mean if you are in the hardware, device, equipment, or robotics space? Your business model strategy is about to move to three-dimensional chess. Think not just about how to “subscription” your device, rethink how the entire manufacturing supply chain will be reimagined in your sector. Maybe your company has the strategy that could propel you to design the new operating system of your industry.