While 3D printing brings much opportunity to the world of industry and manufacturing, and the discussion of many empty seats just waiting for individuals with the right set of skills to fill them is a conversation constantly looming, that doesn’t mean there haven’t still been some pink slips flying.
We all followed the news as the 3D printing industry reeled with changes going on at MakerBot not too long ago as they reorganized and cut 20% of their force. Responding with words of how difficult it was but very necessary, it all boiled down to business–and a plan for healthier future growth, according to the company. Certainly that’s what everyone is being told at HP also as they hand out pink slips in the thousands during their planned split-off into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
As the two HP entities begin to act separately beginning November 1st, HP Inc. sets out under a substantial cloud with an initial $6.8 billion total debt. To offset that, over three years they plan to hand out 3,300 pink slips, which should offer up a savings of $300 million to the company. This comes on top of the news that HP Enterprise said it plans to cut a whopping 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. In earlier 2015, the company employed altogether around 302,000 employees, and had already instituted layoffs of 58,000.
As the news is announced, the ‘bright side’ of the focus turns to 3D printing via CEO Dion Weisler, who projects that we will see their first 3D printer coming out in the late part of 2016. While the finances were specific, actual plans were more vague aside from pinning future success on 3D printing and upcoming hardware.
With massive layoffs, the mood is not as elevated as it was last year when they made their announcement regarding a grand entry into the 3D printing market, unveiling their multi-jet fusion 3D printing platform amidst significant hoopla and press. Plans for release are still for next year and according to all appearances and announcements their vision and ambitions within the 3D printing market continue with the same plan and timing.
“My goal is, in the very near future when you hear 3D printing, you only think of one company,” Weisler said.
HP Inc. still plans to keep their strong presence in the role of provider for office copiers and hardware for commercial printing despite challenges in the printer and PC markets that don’t show signs of letting up.
“The PC business is like selling fish,” said Weisler. “It’s great when it’s fresh, it goes off quickly, and when it goes off it makes you sick.”
With an outline to push forward for continued success in personal systems and printing, investments in innovations of the future, and taking their eventual spot as a forerunner in the 3D printing industry, with HP this is obviously a watch-and-see scenario. Let us know your thoughts on HP’s latest business plan in the HP 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.