How One of the Fastest Growing 3D Printing Service Manages Hundreds of Their Projects
For 3D printing service providers, managing day to day operations requires using many different tools such as billing, inventory, project management, and 3D file analysis. Effective communication and collaboration with clients are at the core of leading successful projects. However, it can be difficult to scale up activity in this sector when the tools needed are dispersed across many different platforms. This is the challenge MakerOS identified when it launched its web-based software for product development companies that offer 3D printing and other digital fabrication services. Essentially, the MakerOS platform is a dedicated online place to communicate, submit projects, view updates and access files and invoices all in one secure dashboard. It aims to improve client workflows and increase companies’ profits.
One of the adopters of MakerOS is Vision Miner. The company based in Irvine, California provides industrial 3D printing services. It receives regular orders for 3D printed PEEK, PEKK, ULTEM and carbon fiber composites parts for rapid prototyping, low-volume production, and R&D projects. Vision Miner decided to try the MakerOS platform in Spring of 2019 to improve client workflows and stay on top of orders. Rob Lent, VP and Co-Founder at Vision Miner comments: “It’s a rapidly evolving market, and we specialize in materials and parts which have never been done before – whatever system we use, in-house or third-party, communication is key.”
One of the products Vision Miner values most is the Project Management and Submission System, which allows the ability to track and manage everything in the project dashboard, including order requests, client communication, CAD files, and anything else related to the project. Rob Lent explains: “At Vision Miner, we get a lot of job submissions – MakerOS has helped us organize everything, stay on top of client communication, and see the statistics of our service over time. It’s also increased the quality of how we process orders, which has translated directly to more orders being processed.”
Additionally to project management, MakerOS provides multiple other features such as the Client Portal or Autoquoter. The client portal for example is an interface that enables a company’s clients to access their projects, files, invoices and also communicate with the service provider. The Autoquoter on the other hand allows to automate the quoting process by analyzing CAD data and a range of customizable parameters that clients can access through the client portal or directly on the service’s website. This allows companies to spend more time on production and less time on managing data. Vision Miner explains that in their case, each job can still be reviewed manually once it’s been submitted, nevertheless the process is much more efficient than before.
Even though 3D printing has been around for a few decades now, the sector is truly booming today and the growth will continue. For this reason, a solution that can adapt to constantly evolving needs is essential. Rob Lent told us: “Over the last 10 months we’ve tried several other systems, but landed back on MakerOS each time because of the way it manages jobs. The interface of MakerOS and the communication from their team has made figuring things out easy. The team is very receptive and open to ideas, and implements changes quickly when needed.” MakerOS has made its solution easy to implement for companies, and takes a hands-on approach to education and onboarding about how to price for 3D printing services and general business workflow recommendations.
Finally, two other features worth mentioning are the project and customer portal integrations, and inventory manager. The platform can easily connect to existing tools such as Slack, Google Drive, or Dropbox to keep you in the loop with the latest updates. Moreover, MakerOS provides a product and inventory manager which directly synchronizes with the Autoquoter. You can find more information on the MakerOS official website.
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