Würth Additive Launches Digital Inventory Services Platform Driven by 3D Printing

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Last week, at the Additive Manufacturing Users’ Group (AMUG) Conference in Chicago (March 10-14), Würth Additive Group (WAG) launched its new inventory management platform, Digital Inventory Services (DIS). WAG is part of Würth Industry North America (WINA), itself a division of Würth Group, the world’s leading distributor of fasteners and one of Germany’s largest private companies.

DIS’s tagline encapsulates the groundbreaking idea behind the platform: “Always in Stock”. Either via in-house printers connected to DIS, or through WAG’s own network of contract manufacturers, WAG’s customers can track part availability, replace out-of-stock parts, and stay on top of their supply chains digitally and in real-time.

In a presentation on the exhibition hall floor at AMUG, WAG’s CEO, AJ Strandquist, explained the platform and demonstrated its ease-of-use. With WAG team members walking around the booth carrying tablets, Strandquist noted how users receive inventory alerts via push notifications and access step-by-step instructions for printing parts.

In a press release about Würth Additive Group’s launch of Digital Inventory Services, the executive VP of Würth Industry for Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Americas, Larry Stevens, said, “Managing millions of different SKUs across four continents has equipped me with both the knowledge and firsthand challenges of inventory management. Our experience has demonstrated how digital inventory, complemented by our world-class Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) programs, significantly aids our clients directly on the factory floor. With the launch of Digital Inventory Services, the Würth Group reaffirms its commitment to providing top-tier physical and digital inventory solutions on a worldwide scale.”

Strandquist said, “We deeply appreciate the Würth Group’s significant investment in advancing our next generation of inventory management tools for our customers and their ongoing support in highlight development within the [AM] indsutry. Equally, we are indebted to the [AM] community for their invaluable support and continuous feedback throughout our [DIS] development. Our decision to announce DIS at AMUG stems from our desire to introduce a solution that not only serves this community’s immediate needs but also fosters the expansion of industry applications, encourages the growth of future users, and creates new revenue opportunities for [AM] intellectual property.”

I’d been looking forward to the DIS launch for some time leading up to AMUG, and WAG delivered. It’s not easy to evoke passion about a topic that, on the surface, seems so mundane. Strandquist makes it look easy, thanks in large part to the team at WAG, including DIS project manager Victor Kurtz, global director of technology and technical products, Mikhail Gladkikh, AM lead technologist — and AMUG Dino — Ed Tackett, and global marketing lead Katelyn Lennon. You also really had to appreciate the team’s commitment to the bit, with most of the WAG employees in red jumpsuits and the booth layout designed to look like a shop floor.

Additionally, the tagline, “Always in Stock”, is one of the best I’ve heard in awhile, but ultimately this isn’t something that can succeed because of marketing prowess, alone. It’s a product that will only be successful in the hands of the right group. With that in mind, I like DIS’s odds. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that the parent company has one of the best logistical networks on the planet to tap into. Someone is going to make an idea like this work. WAG may have all the right ingredients.

Images courtesy of Würth Additive Group

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