Why a Holistic Approach to Quoting 3D Printing Services is the Best Approach

Metal AM Markets

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The word holistic is commonly applied to medicine as more doctors and medical professionals seek to consider the “entire person” or whole person in a clinical evaluation. The same can be done for your 3D printing business and requires only that you step back and take a look at the entire process — from the moment your team starts serving the customer to what the customer sees and experiences from CAD model to finished print. Is that experience a holistic and healthy one?

Over the last decade, business owners have been looking for ways to build and increase trust with their clients and customers that allows each to learn from one another and work through various challenges. In essence, to create more than a transaction, to nurture a long-term, working relationship. 

As a software company, MakerOS sees technological solutions as the key to providing a better customer experience. Our purpose centers on a robust quoting system because we firmly believe it leads to less customer friction and more sales. If you have a shopping cart on your website to fulfill 3D printing orders, you may have data that tells you when a customer abandons the cart before they purchase. If the potential client pauses or stops the purchase process, you have to ask why and search analytical data to find the answer. 

At a minimum, simply adding or improving a 3D printing quote calculator will win big points with prospects and customers. It saves them time and answers one of their main questions about a print job. However, to cut down on the potential friction once that order is placed, you will want to look at the interconnectedness of quoting, what happens after the quote gets into the system. This is where the holistic part gets real – when the quote process is combined with internal project management (and how that is shared directly with a customer), as well as the billing and invoice process, you will see efficiencies that save you time after finishing the build, resulting in faster payments.

Ideally, you are looking at the whole process to understand where things go right and where they go wrong. As with the shopping cart process mentioned above, what can you do prior to any moment of indecision or lack of clarity for the prospect to prevent order abandonment? When evaluating the flow of what happens from quote to job shipped, there are numerous signals that tell you if you are delighting that customer or making their day tougher. 

There are always roadblocks or speed bumps in any internal workflow. Your job is to spot them and remove them, so that team members can remain focused on the customer relationship, not on the tech platform. For the customer, you want them to see how you get their job printed and milestones and measurements along the way are obvious to them. Ultimately, a centralized, “communication command center” evolves giving every person involved in the project a clear view of what is happening at any point in time.  

The holistic approach forces you to look at the smaller, perhaps more obvious, obstacles in your workflow. If these items seem too inconsequential to bother fixing, think about how you can use technology to get a proverbial bird’s eye view so all of your processes are mapped out from start to finish. 

When you take a holistic approach to run your 3D printing business, over time, you will complete client projects faster and with better quality. Some of this perspective demands that you provide greater transparency between your team members and your customers, enabling more detailed (and documented) conversations that let you iterate on your new, holistic process, and spot smaller problems earlier before they become roadblocks. 

MakerOS is built to do exactly that. The MakerOS platform is built to help you organize your sales process by providing a robust quoting system and management of your project workflow. We have found that as you improve client communication it improves the speed and quality of how you process orders, but more importantly, how fast you complete projects. That translates into more orders, which helps your bottom line and enables continued iteration around the holistic approach we discussed here. Request a demonstration of the MakerOS platform to learn more about how our holistic approach to quoting 3D printing services will increase your revenue.

About the Author:

Mike Moceri has deep experience in manufacturing, design, and software. In 2013, he co-founded the world’s first 3D printing retail service bureau in Chicago. In 2014 he founded Manulith, a 3D printing and product design agency, where his clientele included Fortune 500 companies within the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries. Mike is also a mentor at Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator, a mentor at WeWork Labs in NYC, and formerly a mentor at TechTown Detroit. He’s previously been featured on MSN, Make Magazine, NBC, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. D-Business Magazine called him the “Face of 3D printing.” Mike is currently the founder and CEO of MakerOS, an all-in-one collaboration platform for additive manufacturing services to efficiently work with clients throughout the entire lifecycle of a project.

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