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Wake Up and Smell the Paradigm Shift

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Wake Up and Smell the Paradigm Shift

In many ways, the entire diamond pipeline, from mining to retailing, has hardly changed in decades, with the exception of online sales and a long list of technological innovations that mostly have to do with other aspects of the diamond industry.

In fact, where small developments did take place, most want to reverse the changes, saying they are destroying the trade: Price lists, online sales, transparency, even diamond certificates, are all frowned upon by a sizable group of people.

The yearning for a reversal even sets expectations for marketing, with continued demands, politely phrased as requests, that the mining sector foot the tab for generic marketing.

Time for Change

Let’s state it plainly: It’s time for a paradigm shift. The diamond industry must look ahead and evolve, or risk being stuck in the past and decline. The industrial revolution took away the traditional artisanal way of limited manufacturing, giving way to mass production at lower cost. It has been a century and a half since then, and the global economy is entering a new revolution.

No, it’s not clear, many historic changes are understood only in retrospect, but consider the following: the Internet set information free, brought media of all kinds to new heights of exposure. Now this is coming to the “Real World.” In his eye-opening book Makers, Chris Anderson describes a rising class of entrepreneurs that are bringing a manufacturing revolution to the desktop.

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“The world’s factories are now increasingly open to anyone via the web, creating what amounts to ‘cloud’ manufacturing. And huge “Maker communities” have grown around sites such as Kickstarter and Etsy,” he said in a recent interview in Atlantic Cities.

He compares it to the advent of desktop publishing, which reduced centuries of printing and typesetting expertise “to cheap software that anyone could use. (…) Pretty quickly anybody could make a professional-looking page.”

Is this something we need to consider? If kids can now design a toy on their iPad and send it to a factory in China for manufacturing, why won’t we offer that to our clients?

Some Already Took the Plunge

Anderson mentions Etsy, but a better jewelry example is Plukka.com, which is applying the group buying process to manufacturing. They don’t make a product unless enough people want to buy it, and the more consumers want it, the less the jewelry item costs.

That is a revolution in the making because they are offering jewelry manufacturers a way to offer a design without risking the cost of mass producing an undesired product. One upside is that traditionally cautious manufacturers can be very bold in their designs and be pleasantly surprised by, yes, you guessed it – differentiation!

To move in this direction requires gutsy, plucky if you will, entrepreneurship. It starts with vision and continues with strategic planning. Those brave enough to take the leap will reap the rewards.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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Wake Up and Smell the Paradigm Shift

mm

Published

on

Wake Up and Smell the Paradigm Shift

In many ways, the entire diamond pipeline, from mining to retailing, has hardly changed in decades, with the exception of online sales and a long list of technological innovations that mostly have to do with other aspects of the diamond industry.

In fact, where small developments did take place, most want to reverse the changes, saying they are destroying the trade: Price lists, online sales, transparency, even diamond certificates, are all frowned upon by a sizable group of people.

The yearning for a reversal even sets expectations for marketing, with continued demands, politely phrased as requests, that the mining sector foot the tab for generic marketing.

Time for Change

Let’s state it plainly: It’s time for a paradigm shift. The diamond industry must look ahead and evolve, or risk being stuck in the past and decline. The industrial revolution took away the traditional artisanal way of limited manufacturing, giving way to mass production at lower cost. It has been a century and a half since then, and the global economy is entering a new revolution.

Advertisement

No, it’s not clear, many historic changes are understood only in retrospect, but consider the following: the Internet set information free, brought media of all kinds to new heights of exposure. Now this is coming to the “Real World.” In his eye-opening book Makers, Chris Anderson describes a rising class of entrepreneurs that are bringing a manufacturing revolution to the desktop.

“The world’s factories are now increasingly open to anyone via the web, creating what amounts to ‘cloud’ manufacturing. And huge “Maker communities” have grown around sites such as Kickstarter and Etsy,” he said in a recent interview in Atlantic Cities.

He compares it to the advent of desktop publishing, which reduced centuries of printing and typesetting expertise “to cheap software that anyone could use. (…) Pretty quickly anybody could make a professional-looking page.”

Is this something we need to consider? If kids can now design a toy on their iPad and send it to a factory in China for manufacturing, why won’t we offer that to our clients?

Some Already Took the Plunge

Anderson mentions Etsy, but a better jewelry example is Plukka.com, which is applying the group buying process to manufacturing. They don’t make a product unless enough people want to buy it, and the more consumers want it, the less the jewelry item costs.

That is a revolution in the making because they are offering jewelry manufacturers a way to offer a design without risking the cost of mass producing an undesired product. One upside is that traditionally cautious manufacturers can be very bold in their designs and be pleasantly surprised by, yes, you guessed it – differentiation!

Advertisement

To move in this direction requires gutsy, plucky if you will, entrepreneurship. It starts with vision and continues with strategic planning. Those brave enough to take the leap will reap the rewards.

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})();

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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