In modern economics and international business, the strength and efficiency of a products
supply chain is critical to the products overall success and profitability. In the past, these supply
chains have been largely company driven, as companies would estimate the level of demand
anticipated and procure products accordingly. Lately, however, with a specified focus on just-
in-time manufacturing, company supply chains are beginning to incorporate the end-of-chain
consumer into the overall supply chain.
A service that uses the consumer in the supply chain is Kickstarter, which provides
seed investment for various products and services that an entrepreneur wishes to introduce into
the market place. Kickstarter works by presenting a product or service concept, and asks each
member to contribute as much as they wish to the project (“Kickstarter basics,” 2012). If the
project reaches its funding goal within a certain amount of time, then the company receives the
donated funds and can began to work on procuring the product or service for the general market.
Through this method, the end-consumer becomes part of the supply chain by providing
the much-needed funds that allow for the creation of the product, as well as being the ultimate
consumer of the product or service in question. This innovation allows companies to streamline
their financial funding sources by eliminating costly legal channels, and cuts the costs of
acquiring funds for the company. This can allow the company to be more efficient, and focus
more resources on more vital areas of company activity.
The mechanism allows the consumer to finance the project, as well as pre-pay their
portion of the good/service requested. Furthermore, this mechanism for funding allows
companies to easily gauge the demand for their product, and serves as a valuable market research
tool for the company, which creates more consumer-driven products (“Project guidelines,”
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