One of the reasons why KREATIZE offers an unparalleled service for businesses seeking cloud manufacturing solutions is because we help them get their custom parts portfolio cloud ready. This is a crucial step for businesses that want to enjoy the maximum benefits offered by cloud manufacturing.
What makes a great cloud manufacturing experience? This is a question that we at KREATIZE have worked hard to figure out, and that we continue to perfect with our service oriented approach for hardware businesses. Simply put, a cloud manufacturing platform should deliver on its promise of faster, easier, and more affordable manufacturing, along with its ability to keep up with new system developments. As a leader and pioneer of this burgeoning technology solution we at KREATIZE have included a crucial step in our service offering that ensures hardware businesses obtain the benefits expected when using a cloud manufacturing platform. This step is the making of a customer’s parts portfolio cloud ready.
“This is really critical for KREATIZE because it gives us a competitive edge,” said Simon Tuechelmann, Co-founder and CEO of KREATIZE. Further adding that some of KREATIZE’s current customers have tried other platforms and been left with an unfulfilling experience. “Our competitors are missing this key step in their process,” further added Tuechelmann.
What exactly does a cloud ready portfolio mean?
Cloud-readiness is the process of getting a customer’s part designs configured, stored, and documented for them to enjoy one-click manufacturing. A portfolio that is not cloud ready makes it harder for a business to utilize cloud manufacturing to its full potential, as well as increases the probability that they will not be satisfied with the experience, and end result of their manufactured parts.
How does a portfolio attain cloud readiness?
KREATIZE helps its clients achieve this with a straightforward 3-step process.
KMS then creates an open-book-calculation and estimation for the manufacturing of each part from the data inputted.
3. Expert review and feedback provision
The automatic analysis carried out in KMS is then improved upon and supported by an experienced team of technical and success engineers from KREATIZE. The latter specialists make sure that the given customer data for custom parts is complete. This step secures the custom parts integration in the cloud, and essentially makes them ‘cloud-ready’. This is also the foundation for all cost savings in the procurement process, as it gives hardware businesses the ability to order their custom parts from our global network of machine capacities at the click of a button. KREATIZE can on average make 50% of a companies part portfolio cloud ready, and as a result provide them with a double digit reduction in their custom part procurement costs. Furthermore, KREATIZE engineers can help attain additional savings for customers in the overall production costs of parts by offering alternative suggestions, such as on production locations, materials and even overall product construction.
Technical Account Managers (TAMs) at KREATIZE are at the heart of the cloud readiness process. They work hand-in-hand with our customers throughout each of the above steps to enhance their parts, and do what is necessary to get their custom parts portfolio cloud ready.
“The bottom line is that we are not just a platform where you are simply shown a price and shipping time when purchasing. KREATIZE provides steady human contact, and engineering ingenuity,” said Christoph Gunzel, who is a TAM at KREATIZE. “By having a system where our specialists also check, analyze and enhance configurations of custom parts, we are able to provide our clients with their desired parts.”
Watch Simon and Christoph discuss cloud readiness in the video below for more details on this process:
Download our playbook, “Cloud Manufacturing: A Simple Strategy For Reducing Procurement Costs,” to get the full insights into how cloud-readiness sheds large acquisition expenditures for hardware companies.
Dive into our playbook and get a complete understanding of how our cloud manufacturing technology, and services, provide hardware businesses with double digit savings in custom part procurement. Download it today and immediately picture the savings you could be making with our cutting edge solution.
We would like to introduce you to our most recent playbook, “Cloud Manufacturing: A Simple Strategy For Reducing Procurement Costs.”
Cloud manufacturing platforms allow hardware businesses to develop products faster, easier, and more affordably.
With KREATIZE’s unique cloud-based manufacturing solution, KREATIZE Manufacturing Services (KMS), companies can achieve cost reductions in custom parts procurement by offering a plug-and-play solution.
KMS is a one-stop solution, and allows hardware companies to upload all the relevant data of their custom parts, get additional feedback if required from our in-house world-class engineers, and, with the press of a button, start the manufacturing process. Companies that use KREATIZE, can get up to 50% of their custom parts set for 1-click-manufacturing. In other words, making your parts “cloud ready” through KMS.
So what will you find in this playbook?
It is a clear step-by-step guide as to how your company can achieve large savings by making their part portfolio cloud ready with KREATIZE. Our network, and service with part configuration are explained clearly in this document. Cloud readiness is explained in detail, and the monetary benefits associated with this process are described.
This playbook is very accessible and a great tool for hardware professionals that want to save on their custom parts through a plug-and-play solution.
What you will learn in the playbook:
– Why Cloud Manufacturing Is a driver for procurement
– How KREATIZE achieves the cost savings
– How easy it is to incorporate cloud manufacturing into your procurement processes and decrease your cost
Share your feedback as an early reader!
We want to know what you think about this playbook. Let us know what you found useful, or what we’re missing. Your feedback will help us enhance our content. Feel free to send your thoughts to email@example.com.
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Last week, on September 30th, the 4th edition of our Launchpad series concluded with yet another record number of attendees! The theme of the event was, “Learn From The Champions!” This was a nod to the racing tradition of motor vehicle companies, but also to the very real race to innovate that is taking place across the industry. Innovations that are fuelling the next generation of vehicles, and radically changing the auto industry forever.
“Now is the time for leading car companies to reimagine their business & production processes in order to get their products to market faster, and remain competitive,” said Linus Grabher, KREATIZE Country Manager for Austria in his introductory note during Launchpad IV.
Delving deep into the topic of innovation in the automotive industry, our speakers provided valuable insights on the many changes affecting the sector.
The event was broken up into the following sessions, and speakers:
Session 1: “The Automotive Industry in Transition – Insights from OEMs” with Christian Will, VP of Production Development at Porsche AG
Session 2: “The Future of Manufacturing – Cloud Manufacturing” with Simon Tuechelmann, Co-founder & CEO of KREATIZE GmbH
Session 3: “The Automotive Industry in Transition – Insights from a Supplier” with Jens Meiser, Managing Director of Nopma – Technical Textiles
Session 4: “Beers with Peers” – Networking
Here are the key takeaways from our speakers, who were all interviewed by Thomas Hoffmeister, Chief Commercial Officer at KREATIZE:
Porsche – A Rich History With Automotive Innovation
Christian Will, VP of Production Development at Porsche AG kicked off the first session with an overview of the many challenges that Porsche has successfully tackled throughout their storied history.
“Porsche has a history with a lot of changes. In fact, that is the reason why Porsche remains Porsche. What I mean is that we always try to create the automobile from a new point of view,” said Will.
Further highlighting how Porsche has continuously developed models that challenge prior automotive conventions. Models such as the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid, and most recently the Taycan.
“The Taycan is our first answer to the question: “What will the future sports car look like?” affirmed Will.
Porsche is also re-equipping its employees to deal with the big shifts that are taking place, such as electric engines, digitisation and connectivity. The legendary German car-maker is taking the future head on by embracing new technologies, and incorporating them into their unique game plan.
“We might not be the first manufacturer to use new technologies, but in most cases we do it in a strategic, and consequent way,” said Will.
Watch the full interview with Christian Will here:
KREATIZE – A Smart Solution To Manufacturing
Simon Tuechelmann, Co-founder and CEO of KREATIZE, led the second session with his take on manufacturing, and how it must change to better meet current demands. Changes that are also playing a role in the manufacturing, and supply side of things for motor vehicle related companies.
“The problem was…and still is…how one can match the demand and supply side of this market in order to make better, faster and cheaper products,” said Tuechelmann. “We need a better and smarter solution that gets rid of all the inefficiencies of the market.”
Cloud Manufacturing is one the solutions proposed fo the above dilemma. A technology that KREATIZE offers access to, and that is radically changing the way hardware companies are procuring the custom parts needed for their products to be built.
“It really enables hardware companies of all sizes to produce the best, most cost competitive products in the world, without any knowledge of procurement or manufacturing,” said Tuechelmann. “Hardware companies will be engineering, sales and software companies, and the rest will be outsourced,” affirmed Tuechelmann.
Further adding that data, and new shared knowledge as a result of the cloud will help engineers make better products.
“Cloud manufacturing will bring all the data and knowledge, from across the whole supply chain, to the engineer,” said Tuechelmann. “So it will enable every engineer to learn from their mistakes, and from the know-how of everybody else in the world.”
Watch the full interview with Simon Tuechelmann here:
Nopma – Embracing Automotive Innovation With Sustainability
Jens Meiser, Managing Director of Nopma – Technical Textiles was the last speaker, and spoke about embracing innovation with sustainability when having to provide textile solutions for car manufacturers.
“One important point, this production industry we are in is not very sustainable, globally it is very dirty,” said Meiser. “On the other hand, this is a huge chance because when we optimise processes and become more sustainable, this has a huge impact.”
Products and processes are becoming more sustainable, and Nopma is making great progress in ensuring this change. This means sourcing and making use of sustainable materials, while keeping an eye out for alternative ones being developed with nascent technologies (such as banana fiber) which could help when deciphering future solutions. This also means making use of more environmentally conscious machines to produce new products.
“After development, and creating a solution for our customer, our task is to produce a real product. We have to adapt, or invent a machine for it and here we can start thinking of the impact from the beginning, and can save resources,” said Meiser.
Watch the full interview with Jens Meiser here:
Andrew Porter, Head of Production Operations at McLaren Automtotive Ltd. was expected to be a guest at Launchpad IV. However, due to technical difficulties, he was not able to join us for an interview.
During this event, we also re-played our interview with Armin Müller, CEO of emm! solutions and former Vice President of Future Projects at Porsche AG, who was a speaker at our first Launchpad earlier this year.
We’re not done yet! There are more Launchpads to come.
The success of this event and positive feedback that we have received, proved to us yet again that there is a real demand for such events from the hardware community. KREATIZE will continue to host more Launchpads in the future with leaders and innovators from the hardware and manufacturing sector! Stay tuned.
Finally, on November 4, 2021, we will be supporting Austria Wirtschaftsservice’s “Connect X Hardware” event in Vienna. We encourage all hardware startups to apply for this event for an opportunity to meet with potential investors, and partners.
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One of the many benefits of working with KREATIZE is our clear price calculations for every part ordered. We are challenging the lack of transparency in the custom parts market, by offering a solution that annihilates black box pricing with open-book-calculations.
When it comes to ordering customised parts, a lack of transparency in pricing is an ongoing problem. This is a big issue for hardware businesses because it keeps them from having access to important information that can save them time, and money.
“Black box pricing is a big problem in the manufacturing industry,” said Simon Tuechelmann CEO & Co-Founder of KREATIZE GmbH. Designers and engineers of custom parts are usually unaware of what the monetary and time costs associated with the manufacturing of their custom parts. “This makes it difficult for them to improve the design and engineering characteristics of their parts in order to reduce cost, as well as increase part performance,” concluded Tuechelmann.
With KREATIZE hardware companies get access to detailed price data, which means they can better streamline their production processes to create better products with more speed and for less. In other words, KREATIZE provides hardware businesses with a tool that allows them to implement design manufacturability, which is the concept of designing products so that they are easy and less costly to manufacture. This is one of the major strengths of our KREATIZE Manufacturing Services (KMS) platform, which serves as the interface of our plug-and-play cloud manufacturing solution.
“KREATIZE offers full pricing transparency to our clients via open book calculations,” said Fabio Sulser, Tech Lead for Data and Automation at KREATIZE. This is because production times for each individual component are clearly stated. “Customers can also expect to find the hourly machine rates for each order they request,” further explained Sulzer.
So how does this take place exactly?
First, customers must create a part list, or upload the designs of their desired part to a list they already have in their KMS account. After creating a list and uploading the designs of their custom parts, they must begin the process of configuring the part or parts, or what refer to in KREATIZE as making them cloud manufacturing ready.
What does cloud ready mean?
Cloud-readiness is the ability to get part designs configured, stored, and properly documented to benefit from one-click manufacturing. Basically, this provides a customer the ability to order their parts at the click of a button with no impediments. KREATIZE’s technical-account managers will help you achieve this part of the process, so as to ensure you get the most out of your cloud manufacturing experience. The latter includes a clear and fair price that is based on making use of world-class manufacturing capacities for the manufacturing of custom parts, while benefiting from a transparent holistic price. Once a part is fully configured, customers can request the analysis overview, which provides them with an open-book calculation.
“We see a breakdown of all our required processes and production requirements to produce these parts,” said Sulser. “This is split into times, so we can see the complete manufacturing times, broken down into setup and processing time for each process, for the whole part list, as well as for individual batches.”
As seen in the image above, customers benefit from a visual pie chart (which actually shows times when hovering your mouse arrow over it), and standard clear calculations below the imagery.
The setup time, production time, and raw material costs to make each custom part is factored together to make up the total price. The latter is always clearly highlighted at the bottom with all calculations, and based on market forces.
KREATIZE’s time estimation algorithm draws upon insights with the help of specific tools, such as KREAMinds – The Manufacturing Graph, cam simulations, and specific calculation models.
“With every new part offered, we improve our ability to provide customers with fast and honest prices,” said Sulser. “By doing this we shed more and more light into this once dark process with every customer purchase.”
Watch the discussion between Tuechelmann and Sulser below:
Are you ready to take your manufacturing to the cloud with KREATIZE and end black-box-pricing?
Dive into our whitepaper and get an in-depth understanding of cloud manufacturing. Read it to get an overview of this game-changing technology, and find out how it will change the way hardware businesses operate in the future.
What Is Cloud Manufacturing?
This is a common question from professionals who will be most impacted, and have the most to gain from cloud manufacturing. Cloud services are the future of manufacturing, and a proper understanding of this technology is necessary to understand why the business of manufacturing is radically changing.
At KREATIZE, we have created a cloud manufacturing platform that fully digitizes how custom parts are made and ordered. As a leading company in the field of cloud manufacturing, we thought it necessary to produce a high-value content piece that provides hardware professionals with a comprehensive understanding of this technology, and the effect it will have on hardware businesses.
It is a deep look into the research and the business implementation of this disruptive technology, which will become central to the agile operations of hardware companies. It is also a look at the challenges to its adoption, and how its transformational solutions are propelling its bright future.
Download the whitepaper to learn:
What is cloud manufacturing, and how it has gone from theory to practice
About the ongoing research behind this nascent technology, along with thoughts from leading experts
The key benefits of cloud manufacturing
The transformative nature of cloud manufacturing
The big influence that cloud manufacturing will have on the next generation hardware company
Share your feedback as an early reader
We want to know what you think about this whitepaper. Let us know what you found useful, or what we’re missing. What aspects of the paper did we spend too much time on, and what did we not discuss enough? Your feedback will help us refine our content. Feel free to send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
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The manufacturing industry is in the midst of many changes, as emerging technologies are enabling new ways to access manufacturing services, reduce production time and costs. In this article we will share why cloud manufacturing by KREATIZE is the optimal approach for hardware companies looking to take advantage of manufacturing-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions.
The 4th industrial revolution is taking place as we speak.
Changes are happening quickly as new technologies are being adopted across the industrial and hardware sector. Cloud manufacturing is one of the emerging technologies that has gone from theory to practice over the past 10-years. This revolutionary technology allows hardware companies to obtain their desired custom parts at the click of a button.
Cloud manufacturing opens up new options for hardware companies when it comes to seeking manufacturing services for their custom parts. It provides great flexibility in terms of product development and ease of scaling, and requires no capital investment on a hardware company’s behalf.
Not every hardware professional or business is aware of the capabilities of cloud manufacturing. In fact, many still see it as something that will become available in the distant future, even though it is already a reality, evidenced by the few companies that are currently offering plug-and-play solutions for cloud manufacturing services. Some even confuse cloud manufacturing with other technology solutions that are being offered to address the challenge of procuring and manufacturing custom parts.
As a result of this prevalent misunderstanding, in this article we will assess the three main ways that hardware companies are using to obtain manufacturing services for their custom parts. We will highlight the challenges, and the type of companies that can benefit from each approach.
So what are the current options for hardware companies who want to obtain manufacturing services for their custom parts?
The landscape is currently made up of 3 categories : the traditional approach, the online marketplace and manufacturing-as-a-service (MaaS).
At the end, we will also show how KREATIZE’s cloud manufacturing solution is the optimal choice for companies seeking an efficient way of seamlessly acquiring custom parts through the MaaS category.
The traditional approach is how hardware businesses have been obtaining their manufacturing services for the past 70 plus years. This involves building up their manufacturing capacities or outsourcing them through a well-built supply chain. With an outsourcing model, businesses look for partners and build a supplier network through a process of negotiations, periodic site visits, and due diligence. Companies may also practice a hybrid model where they own machines for specific parts and outsource the manufacturing of other components to partners.
Building inhouse manufacturing capabilities requires massive investments in infrastructure, machines, real estate and human capital. Establishing operations and acquiring the necessary machines and people is a time consuming and costly process. It comes with a significant degree of financial risk and can make it difficult to introduce new product features, as you may become tied to certain materials and processes to justify your investment. Prototypes or small series batches might also be too costly to produce. Maintenance costs must be factored in as well. Most importantly, investing huge amounts of capital upfront simply amplifies your business risks.
Although outsourcing requires less investment than owning and servicing machines, it is still not without its drawbacks, as it takes a long time to find and maintain quality suppliers. It also requires a lot of human capital in the form of procurement and quality professionals. Third-party factories might be hesitant to build small batches and prototypes, making product development expensive. A hybrid approach might offset some of the difficulties of traditional approaches and be less capital intensive, but it is still very time-intensive and costly.
Who Can Benefit From The Traditional Approach?
Companies with lots of capital and established products with large orders are best fitted for utilizing the traditional approach to procuring custom parts. These mature companies can better handle the upfront costs of buying and maintaining machinery. They also possess the institutional know-how, manpower and market influence to develop a functioning outsourced supplier network.
Who Is This Not For?
Startups and midsize companies looking to introduce new products can better benefit from other ways of acquiring custom parts to minimize unnecessary financial strain, and give themselves more flexibility in their product development. Approaches, such as an online marketplace and MaaS, which will be covered in the remaining sections of this article.
Companies that choose this route have the benefit of no machine investments and finding suppliers with less effort than the standard route. Instead, they can rely on the services of a platform or matchmaking service that connects them directly to a manufacturer that can meet their needs. In a marketplace, hardware companies post their projects and part requirements so that manufacturers can bid for them in an online platform. Companies then decide their chosen manufacturer through a series of interactions and negotiations on the platform.
Companies offering these services are transactional by nature and sell themselves as a platform to connect hardware businesses with manufacturing services. The downside to this approach is that by simply being a matchmaking service between hardware companies and a manufacturing partner for specific parts, they fail to offer a full suite of plug-and-play solutions. You will likely need to spend a substantial amount of time posting projects and testing various manufacturers to develop a portfolio of suppliers to meet your business demand. Capacity can also become an issue, should you need to ramp up production of specific parts due to company growth or an increase in product demand. In that case, you would be forced to look for more suppliers in the marketplace yourself to satisfy your demand.
Posting and finding the right supplier in a marketplace might be quicker than the standard approach, but it is ultimately not a “one-click” solution. Marketplaces also offer varying degrees of quality assurance, and are essentially brokerages (rather than partners with a deep understanding of the manufacturing industry), offering little guidance or assistance for product development.
Who Can Benefit From An Online Marketplace?
Companies with established products that are looking to diversify their supplier network can make use of marketplace platforms to test and try new suppliers for specific projects. This is especially true for companies that are already using the standard approach (see above) but want to find new suppliers. Online marketplaces are a low-cost way of meeting new suppliers and makes use of basic internet technologies to achieve potential matches.
Who Is This Not For?
Companies that are looking for a plug-and-play solution for high-quality manufacturing should consider going the MaaS route since using a marketplace will still require a significant amount of time to develop a network.
Many new platforms are now offering services where customers can get custom parts from a large network of suppliers. Their technology is designed to be a fully digitized and automated way of accessing manufacturing services remotely.
MaaS businesses promise to offer access to various manufacturing processes, and provide an easy transactional experience by allowing customers to upload their parts design to quickly get quotes for manufacturing costs and lead times.
Unlike the standard approach, this way of acquiring custom parts does not require an investment in machines or procurement professionals to develop a supply network, negotiate prices, and audit quality. This means a more agile climate for product development, and a less risky environment due to less capital requirements.
There’s no posting of jobs to attain bids from manufacturing companies like in online marketplaces. It is therefore faster by design and has a plethora of services already available for customers to simply request, without needing to advertise for them.
Quality is also guaranteed by the MaaS company because they carefully audit their suppliers . This plug-and-play solution also gives hardware companies access to a network of manufacturers that can easily help with any ramp up issues. Hardware companies are provided with quotes and times for delivery, and can order parts with just a few clicks. Thereby providing a seamless experience for the purchase of custom parts.
Not all MaaS companies are equal to one another. Many have been set up to focus on specific manufacturing processes, such as laser cutting and CNC milling, in lieu of offering a full suite of manufacturing solutions. The sizes of their networks plus services also vary, along with their quality and customer service elements.
For instance, you might find that one company offers a plug-and-play solution, but does not offer feedback on the design of uploaded parts, or have staff to help you configure your designs so you can get the most out of your MaaS experience. By not properly assisting you with the use of their services you are more likely to not be satisfied with the end result of your manufactured parts, and not benefit from a seamless experience.
Some MaaS companies simply offer an interface for ordering parts with a limited set of manufacturing processes. Others might also be set up to only service customers on a more transactional basis as opposed to building long-term business relationships. In this case, more errors can happen between the MaaS company and hardware businesses.
Who Can Benefit From MaaS?
For businesses looking to reduce capital and procurement expenses when it comes to acquiring custom parts, MaaS offers a plug-and-play solution and an easy way to order quality custom parts. This solution effectively eliminates the need to own machines and the time needed to find quality suppliers.
Startups and small businesses who want immediate access to quality manufacturing so they can focus on product development are prime candidates for these services, as they can attain several manufacturing processes within a few clicks. Larger companies that want to decrease their capital investments, spend less procuring specific sets of custom components or add agility into their product development processes are also great candidates for these services.
Who Is This Not For?
Hardware businesses that are looking for a comprehensive suite of manufacturing solutions, require feedback or help configuring their part designs, and that are looking for a less transactional experience should consider KREATIZE’s cloud manufacturing services, as other services within the MaaS space are likely to leave them frustrated.
KREATIZE Approach – Cloud Manufacturing
So where does KREATIZE sit amongst all of these approaches to acquiring custom parts? As a leader in the cloud manufacturing space, KREATIZE provides access to a sophisticated cloud platform of vetted global manufacturing partners, and is a subcategory of the manufacturing-as-a-service group. However, KREATIZE is vastly different from its competitors, as it offers cutting-edge technology to ensure customers get the very best manufacturing experience. Its approach has also been designed to eliminate any of the pain points in the MaaS category, thereby eliminating the challenges associated with it.
With a network of 200+ vetted partners offering a plethora of manufacturing services, KREATIZE is one of the few cloud manufacturing networks that can serve demanding enterprise customers with a full suite of manufacturing solutions. KREATIZE also has the capacity to meet the demands of a growing company andcan service companies of all sizes.
KREATIZE also offers a high level of customer service at all times. Although it has a highly user-centric platform interface, you can rest assured that you will be able to talk to a human being should you require it at any point.
Finally,a key component of our onboarding process is the feedback KREATIZE provides to its customers on their parts. After its customers upload their parts, and its proprietary software gives them a price and lead time, technical account managers review the part and make recommendations. This part of the process is referred to as making a customer’s parts cloud ready, so that they can get the most out of their cloud manufacturing experience.
What does cloud ready mean?
Cloud-readiness is the ability to get part designs configured, stored, and properly documented to achieve one-click manufacturing. By not getting your portfolio cloud ready, you are simply not utilizing cloud manufacturing to its full potential, and are more likely to not be satisfied with the end result of your manufactured parts. By making a customer’s part (or portfolio of parts) cloud manufacturing ready, KREATIZE has standardized and fully documented them so that they are ready for one-click ordering.
Who can Benefit From KREATIZE?
Hardware businesses that are looking for a partner that will work with them so that they get the most out of their cloud manufacturing experience, and not experience any of the paint points from the MaaS category. This means lowering their capital, and procurement expenses with a plug-and-play solution, while simultaneously getting the guidance necessary to get their part portfolio cloud ready. Businesses that want to maximize and incorporate the benefits of cloud manufacturing for the long term, and are looking for a true partner that can provide access to a growing network of qualified suppliers for custom parts with multiple processes at the click-of-a-button.
Hardware businesses that want to make use of technology, but at the same time want to benefit from expert feedback, and that value a human touch as far as customer service, to ensure the best outcome. Forward thinking startups that are looking to completely rely on the cloud for their custom part manufacturing solutions, are prime candidates for KREATIZE. Larger companies that are also looking for an effective long term way of decreasing their capital investments, lower their procurement expenses, inject innovation in their product development process or simply outsource the procurement of specific custom parts for the long haul, will find an easy solution with KREATIZE.
Most importantly perhaps, any business that wants to experience the benefits of cloud manufacturing for the procurement of their custom parts, but have found themselves disappointed with the service provided by other players within the MaaS space.
Who Is This Not For?
Companies looking for a more transactional experience, and that are not looking for a comprehensive supply network with multiple manufacturing services would be better serviced by other companies within the MaaS category or by an online marketplace. Businesses searching for a solution to a small project or that need short-term assistance with supply will be better serviced by companies within the aforementioned categories.
KREATIZE is not a service for companies that want to own every part of their supply chain, or that want to maintain traditional procurement methods. Companies that are not interested in achieving cloud readiness (one-click manufacturing) for all or a large portion of their custom parts are not good candidates for the service KREATIZE offers. KREATIZE will also not develop a supply network with you or share its vast list of vetted partners with customers. Therefore, you should only consider them if you are looking for a company that can fully handle all or a large section of your custom part needs.
The bottom line: KREATIZE gives clients its full support to ensure their parts meet, or exceed their expectations. It works with customers to make sure its technology is working to their full advantage, and that they can leverage our technical know-how. Customers always have access to an assigned cloud manufacturing expert who works with them proactively and who can answer any questions throughout the ordering process. In other words, KREATIZE offers the gold standard when it comes to MaaS. Simply put, KREATIZE is MaaS done right.
Are you ready to take your manufacturing to the cloud with KREATIZE?
Until recently, hardware companies have also been manufacturing companies by necessity. They purchase machines, maintain them, and employ armies of procurement and manufacturing specialists to build every component of their hardware product. For some time now, the industry has been slowly shifting to a less asset-based model, with hardware companies beginning to explore different ways of cutting overhead costs by outsourcing manufacturing services.
Many companies, including some of the biggest and most reputable consumer electronic companies in the world, have completely outsourced their manufacturing processes to third-party providers. By doing so, these companies can focus on design, product development, and marketing, rather than on heavy investments in machines and in-house manufacturing processes.
Focus on Core Competencies. Outsource the Rest.
Companies like Apple set a benchmark for next-generation hardware companies. The company prides itself on creating intuitive experiences for its customers with products that are elegant, yet simple. Its design and marketing functions are largely based in the US where there is ample talent specifically for consumer technology design.
Meanwhile, the tech giant outsources all manufacturing of its designs to trusted, highly-specialized manufacturers in countries such as China, Korea, and Taiwan. There’s not only a cost advantage to doing so, but it also enables faster production times and the ability to mobilize quickly to meet surges in demand.
“Some of the largest and most well-known hardware companies are not manufacturing at all anymore,” says Thomas Hoffmeister, Chief Commercial Officer at KREATIZE. For example, Apple uses what we’d call an outsourcing model that requires building a robust, Tier 1 supply network—something Apple undoubtedly has the resources and production volume to do. But smaller hardware companies typically don’t have the ability, time, or resources to do the same. “Without a certain production quantity, many of the top suppliers won’t even speak with you,” explains Zod B. Mehr, Chief Supply Chain Officer at KREATIZE and a former Apple and Dell executive.
Democratizing Access to High-quality Supply Networks
With new tools, such as cloud manufacturing, this is all changing.
Cloud manufacturing facilitates the manufacturing process without needing to invest in machinery or set up a supply chain, essentially democratizing access to high-quality supply networks through a plug-and-play-solution that requires no investment. It no longer matters how big or small a company is, it will have access to top-notch, quality services through the cloud. This allows next-generation hardware companies to focus exclusively on the design, engineering, and marketing of their products.
Until now, only companies with big bulk orders have had access to the very best manufacturing services. This is a closed group where businesses create a competitive edge by developing a supply chain. “It’s a polarizing thesis, but I believe no hardware company in the future will be able to differentiate themselves via their supply chain or their manufacturing capabilities,” says CEO & Co-Founder of KREATIZE, Simon Tuechelmann. “The disadvantages of being a small company with a limited supply network are disappearing thanks to cloud manufacturing.”
Hardware Product Development with Cloud Manufacturing
There’s no question that the next generation of hardware companies will be radically different as a result of cloud manufacturing. They will become leaner by effectively having less assets to operate and by placing increasingly more orders on cloud manufacturing platforms. Identifying reliable partner manufacturers will also become much easier due to the flexible supply networks and services provided by cloud manufacturing, according to Professor Lin Zhang, Director of Beihang University’s Cloud Manufacturing Center.
“This will give next-generation hardware companies their competitive edge,” predicts Zhang. “A stronger ability to customize manufacturing to better meet different demands.” And they will be able to focus solely on their core competencies.
For instance, let’s say you have a drone company that wants to take a payload to underserved areas. With cloud manufacturing, this company can focus solely on the design and prototyping of their drone. They don’t need to focus on who’s going to build the propeller or other parts, they’re going to design the propeller and have someone else build it.
Freedom From Capital Investments
Without the burden of machines, companies are free to experiment and innovate their products. No longer married to materials and processes resulting from previous capital investments, the priority will be the product and easy access to manufacturing services.
Let’s say a company manufactured its first-generation product with a specific type of material or process, but later realized that they could improve the product’s performance and reduce their production costs if they switched to a different material or process. Had they built up a machine park for the original material with specific processes, they likely couldn’t explore new material or process options or create new prototypes to justify their big upfront investment, which in turn limits their ability to innovate. It would be vastly more difficult to continue innovating and making incremental changes to improve the product. With cloud manufacturing, changing the material is as simple as adjusting your order and placing a new one with a different material.
Accessing quality manufacturing services through the cloud levels the playing field by lowering the financial barriers to entry, and in turn gives hardware businesses more control, allowing their ingenuity and product development effort to become the crucial ingredient for their success.
Product (Not Manufacturing) Driven Businesses
Hardware could very well enter a renaissance in the coming years. As next-generation hardware companies accelerate the speed of developing new and improved products, manufacturing costs will likely also decline. The combination of time and cost savings set up the perfect conditions for more substantial – and specialized – investments in product development. “Specialization means better products for less costs,” says Tuechelmann.
“In the past, hardware companies were obsessed with knowing everything about manufacturing. The future hardware companies are not like this at all,” according to Tuechelmann. Instead, they’re all about the product. As we can see with a company like Apple, this emphasis on being product-driven can lead to revolutionary new products in the market.
It’s Time to Get On Board
If you’re a traditional company with a large procurement team and legacy systems, can you become a next generation hardware business? Absolutely. It’s not a matter of if, but when you make the shift in order to remain competitive. It doesn’t matter if you’re an established business or nascent startup, in the end, you need to embrace the next generation of hardware development. The sooner you do it, the better. Not only to save money but also to increase your speed of product development and keep up in today’s competitive market.
In the increasingly digital and connected product development industry, businesses need to consider some important questions:
What type of business are we at the core? What value are we creating? What is our business model going to be in the future? How will we make money in the future?
Once you’ve established this, you can begin to find places where you can decrease your resources invested—for instance in traditional manufacturing practices that require a lot of resources and bound capital. With new technologies like cloud manufacturing, you can free up this capital and put the investment into one of the core competencies you’ve identified, and begin creating real value for consumers.
Hardware development is becoming less expensive and more agile. The speed at which products can now be made is astounding, with the technologies available to produce them becoming more accessible than ever before. According to experts, this is also fuelling innovation and investments in the sector.
In 2013, legendary investor Marc Andreseen expressed a certain bullishness over the resurgence of hardware startups during a Pandomonthly event. His optimism was reserved, as he disagreed with statements being made about hardware becoming like software.
“The problem is that hardware companies are much harder to build and scale than software companies,” Andreseen said, according to Pando. “It’s called hardware for a reason,” he concluded.
Flash forward eight years and hardware, although still “hard,” is becoming “softer,” as a result of new technologies. Hardware products can now be built faster and more affordably. With demand for hardware continually increasing and the ongoing need for digital interfaces in a post-COVID world, we can expect this space to continue to grow.
“What is going to happen to hardware is what happened to software-based business models earlier on. If you dont take control now, you will be controlled,” Christoph Bornschein, CEO of TLGG, said at KREATIZE’s Launchpad event on June 10th. “That is always the worst thing that can happen.”
Bornschein further added that hardware companies should take part in discussions around cloud manufacturing and supply chain transparency, and be aware of the changes taking place in traditional asset ownership, as this new way of operating businesses is going to have an effect.
Hardware startups are among the first in the business to benefit from the increasing agility and speed of their product development processes. Because they lack the hardwired structure of many established companies, they are able to more easily leverage new technologies and solutions to dramatically improve their time to market.
“Software is different from hardware,” explained Philipp Sonnleitner, CIO & Founder of Mikme, the Vienna-based company behind a series of powerful and sleekly designed compact audio recorders. “Even with new technologies, for hardware, fast means months of development. Fast in software is just days.”
Mikme was able to bring one of their products to market in 9-months, which is “lightning fast” for hardware, where years are standard.
“The bad part about hardware is you have to physically move things from A to B,” said Sonnleitner. “With software the logistics are easy, you just have to download things. ”
With the advent of new technologies, such as cloud manufacturing, businesses can now access global manufacturing capacities to help them scale faster, while minimizing global non-market risks and reducing distances for shipping.
“Cloud manufacturing provides access to global machining capacities and helps you reduce the time and cost to build a very high quality supply network in local markets,” said Simon Tuechelmann, CEO of KREATIZE. “You will still need to build your assembly production and set up your logistics, but cloud manufacturing offers a plug and play solution to accessing a top notch supply network.”
Cloud manufacturing is also lowering the financial barriers of entry for hardware product companies, as they no longer need to invest in machinery or developing their own supply chain. This cuts the time to market and allows businesses to start building faster.
“Cloud manufacturing is one of the most revolutionary components of the 4th industrial revolution. It provides easy access and control of industrial machines without having to make large upfront investments,” said Gisbert Ruhl, former CEO of Klockner in an exchange with KREATIZE, where he encouraged people to download our recent playbook to learn more about cloud manufacturing. “Hardware businesses need to learn more about cloud manufacturing if they want to remain competitive,” he affirmed.
The added speed, flexibility, and improved technology now available to hardware product developers is helping hardware startups remain buoyant despite the challenges of hardware.
Christian Dahlen, VP at SAP and a seasoned angel investor, told KREATIZE at Launchpad that raising money for a hardware startup is still challenging because of the substantial investment required. Especially when compared to the requirements for software. However, he also expressed optimism, and believes that the market for hardware investments is in a healthier state today than it was 10 years ago, citing the influence of very visible players in this space, such as Elon Musk, who has made big investments in hardware (e.g. Tesla, SpaceX, etc.)
“Everyone likes to touch physical objects, there is something about the tactile experience,” said Dahlen. “Right now there are a plethora of hardware startups,” he affirmed.
Bottom line: Hardware might not be like software yet, but it is undergoing a transformation. This transformation is allowing businesses to make products faster and cheaper—a type of change which led to the golden age of software.
New website is part of company strategy to create a more seamless experience for customers and other stakeholders.
KREATIZE recently went live with its new website for desktop and mobile users, marking an important milestone in the company’s mission to provide a manufacturing experience the world loves.
During the various project phases, the company remained focused on its main goal: to enable a hassle-free manufacturing experience.
In KREATIZE’s belief, this could only be achieved through the application of Cloud Manufacturing principles, whose primary goal is to facilitate transparent, sustainable, and effective manufacturing.
In consequence, the newly re-launched website including its design and content was developed based on having a complete understanding of the customer and other stakeholder needs. The company then built applicable user flows for each of them, ensuring that users get what they come for promptly and without any distraction.
This resulted in the company website now offering extensive content on:
1. The functions and benefits of the full-service-platform KMS (KREATIZE Manufacturing Services)
2. Introducing stakeholders to KREATIZE’s great team of world-class mechanical engineers, data -and software experts
3. Providing a resource and content hub for all topics surrounding the hardware product life cycle and Cloud Manufacturing
In the future, KREATIZE will further extend its efforts to provide maximum information transparency and ease of use by adapting its content to further formats including audio and video.
The new website underlines KREATIZE’s steady and successful company growth and dedication to being a thought leader and first-mover in the world of Cloud Manufacturing, which will dominate the future of the industry.
For more information on KREATIZE please refer to our company section or contact us at email@example.com.
Global businesses must adapt to local markets in order to find success. Hardware businesses are no different, and need to take advantage of technologies available to leverage the benefits of glocality for their business.
“The world is getting smaller,” is a common expression nowadays.
Technology has enabled us to literally move from point A to B with immense speed. It has similarly accelerated innovation and industry evolution at a similar rate. Technology allows businesses today to expand quickly and maintain constant contact via telecommunications and the digital revolution. This is globalization.
Despite all of this, the world still remains a highly complex place with tight borders and long distances between places. This means businesses must still think locally when implementing their global strategies. In other words, businesses must embrace glocality and have a solid understanding of what it means to do good business in today’s glocalized world.
Glocalization is a combination of the words “globalization” and “localization.” It is used to describe a service or product that is made and distributed globally, but adjusted to better accommodate the customer in a local market. For manufacturing, it is when global hardware companies produce locally to better meet demand.
“Glocality describes the fact that business operate globally, but need to adapt to local requirements,” said Simon Tüchelmann, CEO & Co-Founder of KREATIZE GmbH in the above interview on glocality. “In the context of manufacturing, this might mean to produce products locally, in order to adapt to security requirements or tariffs”
Why is glocality important now?
Glocality is an important topic of discussion within the manufacturing industry for several reasons, but primarily due to: high tariffs, carbon footprint concerns, global events, and time-to-market.
Tariffs have been increasing in many parts of the world. This is the result of global trade wars between important players such as the US, China and the EU. Political decisions have a direct impact on the cost of producing goods and the price of importing them from one place to another.
“The increase in tariffs on imported goods is forcing companies to produce in local markets,” said Tüchelmann.
By having local production sites companies can manufacture locally and circumvent tariffs on imported goods, allowing them to remain competitive from a price standpoint.
HENN currently has operations in China and is exploring the idea of manufacturing in the US, according to Ohneberg.
A desire to decrease our carbon footprint has also pushed the topic of glocality to center stage. In fact, according to a study by the Reuters Institute, “69% of respondents believed that climate change was a very or extremely serious problem.” This shared concern is impacting business decisions and shaping consumer demands as well as legislation. Working with local production sites helps companies lower their CO2 footprint, as transportation costs for goods and materials decrease.
“The higher importance of CO2 footprint is pushing people and companies to produce locally,” said Tüchelmann.
Global events with a drastic impact on supply chains are also influencing hardware companies to shift their production and expand across borders. Such events affect the global supply chain, making a more resilient and decentralized approach to manufacturing essential.
“The past 1.5 years during the Corona pandemic and the Suez canal crisis show us that logistics costs and disruptions can heavily impact the global supply chain,” said Tüchelmann. “Companies have had to think about different ways of producing, such as with local production.”
Time-to-market is yet another increasingly important reason why glocality needs to be top of mind for hardware businesses.
“Something I think is very important is the time-to-market for your specific product,” said Tüchelmann. “By producing at a local level you can adapt the production of any given product very quickly in order to keep up with demand.”
How can cloud manufacturing help hardware companies deal with glocality?
To develop an effective glocal supply network by traditional means is a costly endeavour. It could require setting up assembly lines and hiring several people to man various operations, source new partners, and ensure quality. In other words, it’s a very cumbersome process that is both expensive and time consuming.
“Cloud manufacturing provides access to global machining capacities and helps you reduce the time and cost to build a very high quality supply network in local markets,” said Tuchelmann. “You will still need to build your assembly production and set up your logistics, but cloud manufacturing offers a plug and play solution to accessing a top notch supply network.”
How can I access a cloud manufacturing network?
At KREATIZE we offer one of the most comprehensive cloud manufacturing networks in the world. We have extensive experience helping companies incorporate our network into their business strategy and can work with you on custom part procurement in a very lean and expedient fashion.
“One thing that is really important to understand is that cloud manufacturing does not require any investment,” emphasized Tuchelmann. “You basically get the advantage of a global network of manufacturing capacities without any dollar or euro investment. This is very attractive and can be implemented in 2 weeks.”
Bottom line: an easy and inexpensive way to make glocality work to your advantage is through the effective use of cloud manufacturing.