Alejandro Lopez de Haro

The Women of KREATIZE

Manufacturing and technology sectors have been historically seen as male dominated. We as an organization would like to see more gender diversity across industries, and would like to take the time to highlight the highly influential women of KREATIZE.

The 8th of March is International Women’s Day. In an effort to champion the women of KREATIZE during this important day, we would like to celebrate them by having them share their thoughts on the work they do.

We asked them: What does working at a cloud manufacturing startup mean for you?

Women In Manufacturing (Resources) 

In an effort to share more information on this important topic, we have compiled links to useful content, and events that are taking place this year.


Video: How to Recruit, Retain, and Grow Women in Manufacturing and Technology

Why Are Women More Likely to Quit Jobs in Manufacturing?


Women in Manufacturing event calendar by Women in Manufacturing
Women’s day manufacturing workshop by MassMep
Women in Industry conference by Women In Industry (offline)
Women in Manufacturing 2022 by Manufacturing Automation magazine
Women in Manufacturing webinar by EFFRA

Are you someone who is looking for a job at a company that values diversity, and gender equality? Take a look at our open roles and apply today.

Do you want to stay in touch with us? Signup for our highly popular monthly newsletter, where we give you the rundown on all things manufacturing, and hardware innovation.

4 Supply-Chain Challenges That Cloud Manufacturing Can Help With

Cloud manufacturing is a plug-and-play solution that provides buoyancy to hardware businesses. It does this by giving access to a global manufacturing network that is more resilient to supply-chain challenges. 

In 2020, the global supply chain was disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Today, supply-chains are still being tested, and facing ongoing challenges because of the chaos that occurred 2 years ago. 

As the world enters a new phase of unpredictability, hardware companies need to adopt technologies that can assure their resilience should the unexpected happen. Technologies that can help them maintain their level of business performance despite sudden changes. 

One such technology is cloud manufacturing, which provides more resiliency and access to high-grade, on-time manufacturing than traditional procurement methods. 

In this article we will cover the 4 main ways that KREATIZE’s cloud manufacturing platform can help hardware businesses become more immune to supply-chain challenges.

  1. Resilience Against Global Events

Global events have had a massive impact on supply chains. 

Over the past 2 years, the  COVID-19 pandemic and the Suez canal crisis showed the world how logistics costs and disruptions can radically impact the global supply chain. Companies have had to think about different means of production, and found some by looking for location-agnostic solutions.  Cloud manufacturing provides access to global machining capacities, and is a plug-and-play solution to achieving this.

Resilience  is necessary to manage supply-chain challenges.
Resilience is necessary to manage supply-chain challenges.

It is not just disasters or pandemics that are causing disruptions to the business operations of hardware businesses. Non-market events (e.g. government actions, regulations, etc.) across the globe are also impacting the way they operate. Government policies can have a big effect on the cost of doing business, and hinder the financial health of supply-chain operations, if approached through traditional methods of procurement.

How can KREATIZE Help? 

“One of the ways KREATIZE can help is through its global cloud-manufacturing partner-network,” said Zod Mehr, Chief Supply-Chain Officer at KREATIZE. “If there are logistical issues in a certain geography, our well-capacitized  global cloud manufacturing network can rely on its broad reach to alleviate any constraints imposed by geo-political issues, and ensure that our clients have on-time access to world-class quality parts,” added Mehr. 

  1. Fast Access To Large Manufacturing Capacities 

With supply-chains clogged, manufacturing entities are operating at full-capacity to meet pent up demand. Many have very little idle time, and do not have the capacity to onboard new customers or increase capacity. 

Gaining access to manufacturing capacities is a supply-chain challenge.
Gaining access to manufacturing capacities is a supply-chain challenge.

Hardware companies in need of additional services and capacity have always run into the challenge of not being able to find reliable manufacturing partners fast enough. With the current global situation, this problem has become more accentuated. 

Cloud manufacturing can again be a tool to alleviate these hurdles. Hardware businesses can plug into a cloud manufacturing platform, and gain immediate access to large manufacturing capacities. 

How Can KREATIZE Help? 

KREATIZE works with a sizable number of partners that are part of its global manufacturing network. It offers hardware companies the chance to use its network without them having to do any of the heavy lifting required to find a manufacturing partner. 

“KREATIZE has an established relationship with its well-vetted manufacturing partners, and provides them with orders on a weekly or daily basis,” said Mehr. “We have greater influence and  leverage with our partners than if a customer was hoping  for the attention of a world-class manufacturer on their own,” continued Mehr. 

  1. Finding Quality Manufacturers 

This point is very much tied to our prior point. 

The need for access to additional manufacturing partners can be a big challenge. Even if a company manages to find a manufacturer that can fill their orders, the process of ensuring that they can produce their desired custom parts with world-class standards on a recurring basis is very time consuming, plus expensive. 

The search for quality manufacturers is a challenge.
The search for quality manufacturers is a challenge.

Cloud manufacturing offers a solution for companies that are in need of immediate high-grade manufacturing capacities. KREATIZE takes a step further though, by not only onboarding high-grade manufacturing partners through an extensive pilot program, but by also establishing quality standards that are carried out at source. 

How Can KREATIZE Help? 

“We have established quality standards with our partners that ensure pre-shipment inspection and quality checks,” said Mehr. “We do what’s called source-inspection, which means the parts are inspected at the source of manufacture prior to part shipment,” affirmed Mehr. 

A lot of KREATIZE’s competitors rely on inspection hubs or other points after shipment. 

“We believe that by then it’s too late to catch an out-of-spec part, so we have established clear guidelines with our partners to ensure they share with us the dimensional and cosmetic quality of the parts before they ship them,” said Mehr. 

“Our manufacturing partners go the extra-mile because of our established ongoing relationship and history of placing large order volumes. This ensures  a high-level of quality driven by their desire to satisfy a priority customer,” further explained Mehr. 

  1. Recruiting Qualified Talent

One factor that is particularly making supply chain problems more complicated is the ongoing shortage of talent. Hardware and manufacturing companies are having to do a lot more with less people.  This has a profound effect on the production of their goods, as it can hinder their time and efforts to carry out good business.  

Getting qualified talent is becoming increasingly challenging.
Getting qualified talent is becoming increasingly challenging.

With cloud manufacturing, hardware companies do not have to recruit or procure their own talent to establish or strengthen their own inhouse manufacturing capacities. 

How Can KREATIZE Help? 

“By working with KREATIZE, a company can lower the need to hire extra people to keep up with demand or deal with increased workload,” said Mehr.  “They can outsource a lot of their procurement tasks, and logistics to us,” concluded Mehr. 

By relying on KREATIZE, customers benefit from our deep manufacturing know-how and partnership with high-grade manufacturers.  This allows a client’s current staff to focus on more strategic problems, while reducing their overhead operating expenses. 

Are you a hardware business that needs to overcome these challenges? Do you need immediate and actionable solutions?

KREATIZE would love to work with you, and wants you to benefit from the very best of today’s technology without having to completely overhaul your business.

KREATIZE provides manufacturing the world loves. We want to help your business with new tools, and assist you in delivering your products to the world with complete ease. 

Start now by creating your account for KREATIZE Manufacturing Services today, and allow your hardware business to make a leap into the future of manufacturing.

Do you want to keep up with all the happenings in hardware innovation? Signup for our highly popular monthly newsletter, where we give you the rundown on all things manufacturing, and hardware innovation.

5 Tips For Fostering Innovation In Hardware Businesses

Professionals that want to inject innovation into their hardware business can face a lot of pushback. There is no magic wand to implement change, but here are some tips that can certainly help.

Fostering innovation with new technologies is a difficult task for hardware businesses. This is true if you are a large business with legacy processes or an agile startup that needs to be  judicious with its funds. Hardware companies of all sizes face similar challenges when it comes to product development and fostering innovation. Finding strategies to overcoming these hurdles is key as significant hardware innovation is needed to reach the full potential of Industry 4.0.

This is because all  hardware development requires a disciplined approach due to the high costs of production. Therefore, every hardware company must set up a system where a series of “micro-failures” can eventually lead to success.  Experimentation is part of the game, but so is smart resource allocation for specific endeavors and creating a culture where diverse talented  people are not afraid to fail or communicate. 

We’ve collected some tips from our dealings with customers and our Launchpad events on how to decrease your time-to-market for hardware products. Before we dive in, we should mention that there is no silver bullet to achieving this quickly. In fact, it may take substantial time and effort to create an atmosphere to foster innovation in your hardware business.

Here are five key tips for fostering innovation & getting your products to market faster:

1. Embrace Failure:  Failure is a key component of innovation and improvement. Trial and error are part of any product development process, and without accepting this reality you risk becoming immobile. 

Failure is part of the work towards establishing an encouraging atmosphere that fuels innovation in hardware businesses.
Failure is part of the work towards establishing an encouraging atmosphere that fuels innovation in hardware businesses.

In the case of startups, failure cannot be something you hide from as it is through an agile approach of constant trials and errors that you will make game-changing products.  

Large companies also need to embrace failure and be willing to try new approaches. Making use of failure to obtain insights is a must for any hardware company seeking to develop new, competitive products. Of course, this does not mean that hardware companies should embrace uncontrolled failure in their chase for innovation. Learnings must be gained with rules and timelines attached to ensure valuable insights. 

2. Set aside a budget for experimentation: Set aside some money for experimentation. Through experimentation companies learn and gain the insights necessary to innovate. A budget fort this purpose will encourage employees to innovate and take calculated risks.

Creating a budget is a great tip to promote innovation in a hardware business.
Creating a budget is a great tip to promote innovation in a hardware business.

There is no magic number or percentage for this experimentation budget. You need to decide what is appropriate for your business. Whether you choose to set aside a small budget for a few experimentation projects, or decide to fund an innovation center, the choice is yours.  What’s most important is to choose a financially responsible approach that allows you to yield useful insights and learnings. 

3. Don’t build too many prototypes: There’s always a desire to move faster when developing a new product. Technology can enable this speed, but it is not an excuse to be careless. It’s important to make good use of your time and introduce design to manufacturability principles from the get-go, even if it means a few extra weeks or months for development. 

Hardware business can promote innovation by introducing design to manufacturability principles and taking their time.
Hardware business can promote innovation by introducing design to manufacturability principles and taking their time.

Hardware is expensive, so it’s better to build 100 prototypes (rather than 10,000) for testing, and then make enhancements. If you produce too many prototypes in the beginning, it removes your ability to make incremental enhancements on an ongoing basis. 

4. Build the right team: It’s important to build a team with a range of skill sets that will enable you to meet product and market demands. 

Building the right team is key to promoting an environment where innovation takes place.
Building the right team is key to promoting an environment where innovation takes place.

In large or mid-size organizations, once you have identified key team members, an Innovation Manager can be a catalyst for incentivizing change. This does not have to be a full-time employee, and can be outsourced as a consultant. 

For startups, it’s important to include team members with the right knowledge, expertise and adaptive mindset, to limit your chances of being blindsided by unexpected issues and that can handle the risk plus changes associated with nascent businesses .

5. Foster open communication: Hardware companies should establish a culture where people can express their concerns openly, and embrace discussion. Lack of open communication will impact your development timelines and stifle innovation, but also affect a company’s culture. 

Open communication is necessary when establishing an ambiance of innovation in any business.
Open communication is necessary when establishing an ambiance of innovation in any business.

A clear sense of vision and purpose will help for better communication, and promoting innovation in a hardware business of any size. A clear purpose and well-defined goals will leave less room for miscommunication. They will bring your teams together and ensure all teams are aligned in the same direction. 

In Conclusion:

There are many tips out there for how to best inject innovation you can bring products to market faster. These, however, are the tips we found to be most relevant in today’s increasingly changing, digital and agile world. This suggestions can give your business more buoyancy and keep risk to a minimum. 

We urge you to act with confidence, but to also be ready to face the unknown. All companies face unique challenges and the key is to be able to adapt these insights to your own reality. These five tips should help you feel better prepared to develop your products in today’s fast paced market. 

Are you a hardware business looking for an innovative solution that can lower your time to market, manufacturing costs and that requires no upfront investment?

Cloud manufacturing might just be right for your business.

To find out more download our playbook today: “Bringing Hardware Products To Market Faster With Cloud Manufacturing.”

Do you want to keep up with all the happenings in hardware innovation? Signup for our highly popular monthly newsletter, where we give you the rundown on all things manufacturing, and hardware innovation.

Introducing: Our B&C Parts Playbook

Get a complete understanding of how you can use cloud manufacturing to radically improve your B&C part procurement strategies. Download it today and make all the headaches of B&C parts procurement a thing  of the past. 

We are proud to publish: “Solve The Dilemma Of B&C Parts With Cloud Manufacturing.”

Click on the image to get the playbook!

So what is this playbook about?

Making use of efficient processes around B&C parts procurement is an important pillar for all hardware companies across all sectors. Finding ways to optimize this resource intensive process has been difficult due to the lack of plug-and-play solutions.  

Cloud manufacturing offers reliable – and on time – B&C parts procurement outsourcing through a seamless plug-and-play platform. Hardware companies that make use of this solution can focus on sourcing their A-parts and quickly see an effect on their bottom line.

This playbook is a great resource for hardware professionals that want to enhance their procurement strategies with a plug-and-play solution that requires no investment.  

We will show you a comprehensive analysis of the whole picture, beginning with an ABC parts overview, the B&C sourcing challenge, the massive benefits of being able to hone in on your A parts, plus a clear process of how your company can completely free itself from the B&C challenges by working with KREATIZE.

Playbook – Table of Contents:





Share Your Feedback As A 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

Do you want to receive top-notch content on cloud manufacturing and hardware innovation every month? Sign up for “Cloud Manufactured”! Our monthly newsletter on cloud manufacturing, and hardware innovation.

KREATIZE: Get An Edge With Cloud Ready Parts

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. 

1. Input & Data Collection

Hardware businesses first upload their drawings and CAD-files into KREATIZE Manufacturing Service (KMS),  which is our one-stop platform where specific requests for custom parts, such as materials, processes, post-processes and quantities are all inputted. Necessary material certificates and tolerances are also generally added at this stage. 

2. Automatic analysis of drawings & CAD-files

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. 

Introducing: Our Procurement Savings Playbook

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

Do you want to receive top-notch content on cloud manufacturing and hardware innovation every month? Sign up for “Cloud Manufactured”! Our monthly newsletter on cloud manufacturing, and hardware innovation.

Recap of Launchpad IV – Learn From The Champions!

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.

Want to be kept up to date with content on cloud manufacturing and hardware innovation? Then sign up for our newsletter: Cloud Manufactured.

How KREATIZE Kills Black-Box Pricing For Custom Parts

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.”

KMS Price & Time Breakdown

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? 

Start now with your free account by making an appointment with one of our cloud manufacturing specialists today. You can also sign up to our newsletter “Cloud Manufactured” to find out more about cloud manufacturing, hardware innovation, and our services.

Introducing: Our Cloud Manufacturing Whitepaper

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. 

Today, we are excited to share our whitepaper, “Cloud Manufacturing: It’s Technology & Impact On Hardware Businesses.”

Click on the image above to get the whitepaper today!

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  

Do you want to receive top-notch content on cloud manufacturing and hardware innovation every month? Sign up for “Cloud Manufactured”! Our monthly newsletter on cloud manufacturing, and hardware innovation.

KREATIZE: Manufacturing-As-A-Service Done Right

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

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. 

The Challenges: 

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. 

Online Marketplace 

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.  

The Challenges: 

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. 

Manufacturing-As-A-Service (MaaS)

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. 

The Challenges: 

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. 

The Solutions: 

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 and can 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? 

Start now with your free account by making an appointment with one of our cloud manufacturing specialists today. You can also signup to our newsletter “Cloud Manufactured” to find out more about cloud manufacturing, hardware innovation, and our services.