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Courier service Yamato begins niche manufacturing

3-D printing helps shorten making, shipping time

Yamato Holdings' high-tech fulfillment center in Tokyo's Ota Ward.

TOKYO -- Some are predicting that the barrier between manufacturers and service providers could become so insignificant that the two sectors become almost one. And advanced technology will play a significant role.

Technological developments -- from the internet of things to big data -- are helping manufacturers stay connected with their customers long after a sale is made, often by providing services that can enhance their products.

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