Value Chains need to be turned upside down

Value Chains need to be turned upside down

We are all very familiar with value chains going from the maker to the buyer with value-added at each step. In this common scenario, the product makers tend to receive less for their work than the sellers.

This approach might be logical for mass-produced items when the production processes are repetitive and fully automated. However, when it comes to handmade products, this type of value chain needs to be inverted. The power of creation is with the maker, not with the middlemen. Therefore, the profit should be more substantial for those adding more value, or in other words, for those creating products, as opposed to those selling them. This may sound obvious. However, most people tend to apply the sample principle of mass-produced items to the handmade market, placing product makers right at the bottom of the value chain.

Outdated thinking models

 The Industrial revolution set up this value-chain model, with the product makers at the bottom of the value chain. It is certainly past the time to change it. That is what Akili is attempting to do by placing the maker at the top of the value chain with a product range entirely composed of handmade products.  

That is one of the many positive aspects of what I would like to call the Handmade Revolution. Whilst the Industrial Revolution encouraged the world to produce and consume more low-value products, the handmade revolution drives people to produce and consume less high-value items.



The end goal is to produce and consume less in quantity and more in quality. The approach is to make long-lasting, unique products with the value-add of human craftsmanship. Shifting from mass-produced, low-value to handmade, high-value items and reducing waste whilst we are at it. It is a good solution for product makers and the environment. Consumers do not use handmade products thoughtlessly, throwing them away after using them once or twice as they do with most mass-produced items.

In summary, the industrial revolution made us produce more, use more, and place less value on production and product makers. It is time to bring about the Handmade Revolution, or in other words, to produce less more thoughtfully, making unique, long-lasting items and placing more value into creation, into the making.

By Fabi Alvarez: Fabi is a marketeer, product developer and sustainable living advocate with 18 years of experience in startups, not-for-profits and market leaders worldwide.

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