Greg Kress talks about MFG & Shapeways; enabling manufacturers to digitize; the challenges in a fast-paced market; and why AI will transform manufacturing.

356: Break Down Design Barriers and Scale Your Business, with MFG

Today I’m joined by MFG. With over $8 billion of product sourced, nearly 1 million RFQ’s and over 50,000 buyers and suppliers involved, they are the world’s largest manufacturing marketplace.

MFG helps manufacturers grow their business by making it easy for them to be discovered by high-quality customers, while also making it easy for buyers to find manufacturing partners. Its manufacturer directory and speedy request-for-quote process delivers competitive quotes and saves time and money for its customers.

Today Greg Kress, CEO at Shapeways and MFG, joins me to talk all about the two companies and what they do; enabling manufacturers to digitize their businesses; the challenges for both manufacturers and buyers in a fast-paced market; and why AI has the potential to transform manufacturing.

Guest bio:

Greg Kress has been Shapeways’ Chief Executive Officer and a member of Shapeways’ Board since January 2018. From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Kress served as Chief Operating Officer then President at Open English, an online education platform. Prior to that, he was a member of the corporate leadership staff at GE, where he held a series of roles in global commercial operations and supply chain management as well as environmental health and safety. Mr. Kress’s background as an innovative and results-driven leader with experience in large and mid-size organizations brings substantial operating experience to the Company Board. Mr. Kress earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University.

 

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

[06.14] The challenges within traditional manufacturing that led to the creation of Shapeways, and how the brand tackles those challenges for its customers.

“Nobody had access to industrial grade manufacturing equipment without investing millions of dollars and having a ton of know-how and time…. Shapeways is allowing anyone to get access to on-demand manufacturing services at scale.”

[08.42] A deeper dive into Shapeways, and the two core halves of its operation.

“We invested almost $100 million in fully digitizing our end-to-end operations and building software.”

[13.03] How strategic partnerships allow MFG to manufacture on-demand, and deliver world-class metrics for their clients.

“The manufacturing market is really driven by small and mid-size manufacturers and so this isn’t about competing, it’s about how you enable them to be really successful.”

[16.30] The landscape of global manufacturing, and how Shapeways is driving change through its MFG platform.

“It’s one of the last markets that hasn’t been digitized…. But digital manufacturing is really just applying software and technology to make manufacturing more efficient.”

[23.07] The importance of customization in today’s fast-paced market, and some of the innovative ways MFG has helped customers with complex customization needs.

[25.18] The ideal customer for MFG; how they work together; the key benefits; and why MFG was designed to support customers across multiple industries.

[30.58] An overview of membership options with MFG, and a look at what onboarding and integration look like.

“Our customers typically upgrade pretty quick… the payback period is very fast, if you close one order on the platform, you’ve paid for it for a couple of years.”

[32.57] The quoting process with MFG and how AI, visibility, and communication is vastly improving the process.

“Our platform allows for really great communication with the customer, and allows it to be more of an interactive process, to ask questions, validate and adjust.”

[35.27] A closer look at MFG’s 3D model viewer, and how interactive visualization improves the manufacturing process.

[36.53] The future of the manufacturing industry, the impact of COVID, and Greg’s take on some of the impacts we’re going to see as a result of industry transformation.

“COVID really re-set the playing field. The amount of on-shoring we’re seeing is significant; the level of supply chain flexibility that’s required moving forward, there’s a different expectation. And those two challenges really require businesses to take a step back and re-approach how they look to solve them.”

[42.35] The future for Shapeways and MFG.

 

RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:

Head over to MFG’s website or Shapeways website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too. You can also connect with MFG and keep up to date with the latest over on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, or you can connect with Greg on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this episode, why not check out 342: Women In Supply Chain™, Juliette Samson, or 324: Source Smarter, Design Greener and Collaborate Faster, with Makersite.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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