Stratasys Tells Us About Their New Expert Services Group to Help Manufacturers Implement 3D Printing
It’s been an incredibly busy month so far for Stratasys, which just a few days ago announced a large-scale collaboration with the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs to create a 3D printing hospital network, and only days before that introduced two new 3D printing materials. The big news, of course, came at the beginning of the month when the company announced that their Infinite Build 3D Printer is now being piloted by Ford. This week, Stratasys has made another big announcement: they’ve introduced a new Expert Services Group, which will assist manufacturers in the process of integrating additive manufacturing into their operations and workflow.
The new consulting group is being led by Dr. Phil Reeves, who has been offering and leading consulting services in the additive manufacturing industry for more than 20 years, and consists of several Stratasys technical and commercial professionals. The goal of the Expert Services Group is to help clients define the potential value that additive manufacturing can deliver within their companies, and to help them implement that value through technical and managerial training.
“The Expert Services team is driven by people who know both traditional manufacturing and additive manufacturing well,” said Dr. Reeves. “We can support companies across the entire maturity spectrum from the novice first looking to assess the technology, right through to a highly experienced multinational that has decided to scale up its use of additive manufacturing.”
Stratasys Expert Services is offering a full portfolio of, well, expert services, designed for all vertical markets at all stages of 3D printing technology adoption. Clients can take advantage of the consulting services if they want to completely revamp their entire companies, or if they just need specialized technical or commercial support on a single project.
Expert services, as defined by Stratasys, include:
- Opportunity Evaluation, to determine where and how 3D printing can add value within a client company
- Data Analysis, to find areas of waste, bottlenecks, and excess inventory that can be eliminated through the use of 3D printing technology
- Technology Mapping, to determine the feasibility of 3D printing for production
- Strategy Development, to maximize the profitability of 3D printing through capital investment planning and supply chain development
- Design Optimization, to exploit the design freedoms of 3D printing via subcontract design services
- Environmental Management
- Production Quality Management
3DPrint.com had the opportunity to gain insights directly from Dr. Reeves about the new offerings, with A Few Questions For him to learn more about the new group and its operations.
Why was Stratasys Expert Services created?
“Expert services was created to support companies through the entire process of 3D printing adoption and utilization. We realized that many companies struggle with the people resources and know-how to really evaluate the potential of 3D printing. The expert services group provides that support, from screening companies to identify opportunities, to building business cases, investment plans and supply chains. We help companies with their design, quality, health and safety, training and business strategy.”
Why are you a good fit to lead it at the outset?
“I have been working in the field of 3D Printing for nearly 25-years. Initially developing the technology as a PhD student, before working in service bureaus, innovation business and for the last 15-years in 3D printing consultancy. I built a successful team of consultants in my last role as the principal consultant at Econolyst before that business was acquired by Stratasys. I have worked on AM/3DP strategy development for global organizations across almost all vertical markets.”
What kinds of customers will benefit most from the services offered by the new group?
“Our services are applicable to all companies looking to adopt the technology, but I think we excel in supporting large corporate enterprises with multiple brands and locations. Our expertise is in understanding the business drivers to the adoption and need for 3D printing at a corporate level, then developing implementation strategies that consider the economics and technical feasibility. Our customers tend to work within the corporate strategy and innovation function of companies where they are themselves are tasked with implementing 3D Printing. That’s where we step in with our vast wealth of experience, software tools, methodologies and network.”
What particular verticals might initially benefit from services?
“Interestingly, we work across all verticals, including those not typically associated with Rapid Prototyping. By that I mean fast moving consumer goods companies, brands, fashion labels, food and drink producers, computer games publishers, entertainment companies and retails. Of course we also support aerospace, medical and automotive clients, but we are really trying to think holistically about where 3D printing will take all companies in the future and how they can exploit the unique benefits of low volume, high value digital manufacturing.”
How is Stratasys Expert Services organized? How will it operate to offer these services?
“Expert services is currently limited to clients within North America. The delivery team comprises of a core team of consultants with expertise in manufacturing, mechanical and design engineering, economics, business strategy, quality and health and safety. We then tap into a wider team of exerts within Stratasys with specific domain experience in 3D printing processes, materials, software and applications. Our business model is based on fee paying consultancy which we link to achieving either bottom line profitability improvements for our clients or helping them to grow their top line sales.”
Dr. Reeves is also the author of an e-book entitled 3D Printing: Understanding the Business Drivers for Technology Adoption, which you can download here. He will also be offering a 30-minute informational session about Stratasys Expert Services at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference today, Tuesday, April 21, from 1:30 to 2:00 PM. He’ll be discussing the steps that companies need to take to integrate additive manufacturing into their operations, from identifying opportunities for implementing 3D printing to establishing a profitable supply chain. Discuss in the Stratasys forum at 3DPB.com.
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