Improve Efficiency In Your Fabrication or 3D Printing Service

Formnext Germany

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Efficiency. In manufacturing, we talk about improving it any chance we get. Without it, we may not survive as a business. We also like to explore how to be more productive and it sounds like it’s the same thing, but productivity is a subset of efficiency. Knowing the difference can make an enormous impact on your 3D printing or CNC service.

Manufacturing Productivity

A simple definition of productivity is the ratio of output to input in production (again, this falls under efficiency). How much time does it take to produce that model or widget? If you produce 100 units in a week and you can boost your production rate to 200 the next week, you have increased and improved your productivity, from a manufacturing perspective.

You might reach any of these unit gains through purchasing automated equipment to produce goods with less effort, by adding more skilled workers, or by improving logistics. When the line moves faster and is more productive, you have increased your efficiency. But let’s not put the proverbial efficiency cart before the productive horse.

Finding The Money to Invest and Increase Production Rate

The answer to how to find more money to improve your manufacturing processes starts with better sales. Not more sales, better sales. To cut to the point, that’s how you first get to greater efficiency — better sales is part of any efficient operation. You want to spend more time on production and less time managing the data that slows down your sales process.

Better Sales is Less Work and More Communication

In 2014, I founded a company in Detroit to service the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries and helped them rapidly prototype new technologies. I was 3D printing parts for people and after printing hundreds of projects, two things stood out for me that would ultimately influence me to start MakerOS:

  • People don’t care how their thing is made.
  • All they care about is if it’s made on time, within budget, and meets their quality expectations.

Six years later, I have found those two points are still mostly true. Clients have a hard time conceptualizing how their products are made (that’s why they are hiring you!) which makes it difficult to share progress throughout development. The MakerOS Autoquoter helps with this by giving clients a contextual flow based on the intended application of their part. In combination with the Client Portal, the quoting tool allows them to see into the 3D printing process. At the same time, it automates your quoting process for 3D printing/AM and CNC machining, freeing you up to keep things moving and on time for their project deliverable.

Before starting a project ask yourself: what is your client expecting to see along the way? How can you help them “see” and understand the process? You can do this by communicating various steps in the job process, and the MakerOS Client Portal provides complete transparency, with details they expect and appreciate.

In my mind, this area of “client expectation” is categorized as “Better Sales” because if I communicate with understandable detail to my customer, they are happier, more satisfied, and likely to return as a loyal customer. In summary,

  • Automate your quoting methodology
  • Consolidate and organize your client communication
  • Create one centralized place where all updates and information is available to the customer, your sales team, your engineers, and technicians.

MakerOS Places Client Communication at the Center of Any Efficient and Productive Fabrication Business

Our mission at MakerOS is to automate quotes, track orders, provide job status and process updates so that you can remain focused on doing what you do best: printing parts and getting them out the door to customers. Learn more and get started with a free 30-day trial to understand our value. See how much more you can get done with a real-time dashboard built for engineering and fabrication teams.

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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