A Win-Win for Challenging Times
The specter of factories shutdown due to localized COIVD outbreaks, parts stuck at ports, and shortages of skilled labor closer to home presented headaches for manufacturers in Europe and North America. Meanwhile, there are manufacturers with equipment standing idle. These circumstances present opportunities as online marketplaces for batch manufacturing to come to the fore.
Fractory, Qimtek, Xometry, and 3D HUBS look to match customers needing parts quickly with manufacturers that can accommodate the work. The customers get access to a wider pool of manufacturers without needing to review dozens of quotes while the contractor gets an additional revenue stream.
These platforms are more than a listings service. The marketplaces’ business model is to confirm the customer’s requirements, then prepare and host the listing. Contractors pay to subscribe to the platform and respond to listings, having browsed the marketplace or having been approached by the marketplace provider.
The online marketplace not only acts as a matchmaking service but also authenticates the …
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