As we count the ways we love 3D printing, we may be even busier counting our dollars for that next project or gift idea. While some of us choose to purchase 3D printers outright and take on the expenses involved–from materials to maintenance–many others seek help from 3D printing services, with a wide range of new providers emerging and learning how to thrive in a marketplace that becomes more competitive every day.
Sometimes using a 3D printing service is less expensive than going the DIY route, and sometimes it’s just easier. Customers may rely on design help, consulting services, as well as requiring the use of more sophisticated printers or alternative materials they can’t put their hands on easily. Allowing users to bring concepts, designs, and ready-made files into physical form, the 3D printing service team is paid to make magic for their customers. Giving quotes and paying bills, however, are an absolute reality that must be thoroughly considered.
We all know that once you get past the obstacle of raising enough capital to get your business going, bringing customers in the door is the key to success. And when it comes to business and services, one thing is always at the forefront: price.
So while the customer expects you to handle the workload and do it well, their only worry after that becomes cost and timeframe. You however, have to balance sales, skill, usage, materials, labor, and hopefully, figuring in a tidy profit margin that makes being in business a worth cause. You can crunch the numbers for each project, wing it, and offer a wide range of services with varied pricing, but often it’s better for all parties involved to have an automated tool for consistency and streamlining.
The Cost-o-Meter team, hailing from Lodz, Poland, saw an immediate need for business software that would offer concise quotes in 3D printing. With their new online Cost-o-Meter tool, 3D service providers can look forward to automating the quoting process, and sales teams can be much more effective at engaging target customers when they are secure in the numbers they are providing for pricing. Having a structure in place offers businesses the organization needed to tighten up, make a competitive strategy, increase productivity, and help keep the customers flowing in.
“We believe 3D printing is amazing technology that will reduce costs, help the environment, and pave the way for a more vibrant future,” says Mirek Jaskulowski. “By helping companies grow and survive in this arena we are making that reality. Our system can reduce costs for 3D printing businesses and even help some entrepreneurs break into the business by diminishing the need for a large sales staff.”
- Uploading a file.
- Selecting a variety of options for 3D printing, from FDM to SLS, and more.
- Placing the order, with the option to increase volume.
- Tracking the order at any time.
Not only does the software review files and provide instant quotes for projects, but it is also capable of managing sales pipelines, inventory, and customer analytics. They also link to MakePrintable, to check that uploaded files are indeed 3D printable.
“Being able to provide a quick and consistent quote is the most valuable asset of this tool,” says Jaskulowski. “The other features are icing on the cake. The technology is so new that these entrepreneurs really need help in this arena and our software is there to provide it.”
This new business software is available with just a single licensing fee, and should offer substantial costs when compared to similar services and products. According to a company spokesperson, with these tools in place, all a service provider needs to worry about is having great 3D printing equipment to keep business rolling in. Have you tested out this new software? Let us know your thoughts in the Cost-o-meter forum thread on 3DOB.com.
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