“What do you do for a living?” is a question I am constantly asked. Easy enough, until I answer, “I work for an online CNC machining platform for manufacturers, engineers and designers — pretty much anyone who needs to get parts made.”
It’s an answer that typically generates a blank stare. “Have you heard of Uber? Hotel Tonight? Lyft?” The blank stare continues but is accompanied now by a nod of familiarity. I continue, “We do kind of the same thing. People in need of parts get online and use our platform to place orders for those parts on CNC machines that we have access to all around the country. We’re basically an online supply chain.”
An online supply chain. Now who would want that?
Let's say, for example, that what if every time you wanted a sandwich, you had to drive to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients. Wouldn’t that get old? Wouldn’t you long for some way to make getting and eating a sandwich easier so you could spend all that time you wasted driving and shopping on other, more important, things?
Just as refrigerators enable easy sandwiches, MakeTime enables easy and streamlined CNC machining. Instead of sending out and waiting on multiple RFQs, vetting suppliers, procuring materials, handling logistics and dealing with problems as they arise, our cloud-based platform does all that for you. We do it fast, too, with competitive and intelligent pricing.
Why drive to the store and compile a sandwich every time you’re hungry when there’s an easy-to-use solution — your refrigerator — in the kitchen? Why manage the details and stresses of a supply chain when there’s an easy-to-use solution — MakeTime — online?
Even manufacturers with good supplier relationships run into snags. It’s in the nature of manufacturing: Machines break down. Forecasting is sometimes off. Natural disasters disrupt traditional production pipelines. With a distributed, digital manufacturing solution always at the ready, these snags don’t have to derail a product launch. Now, you can have your sandwich and eat it, too.
U.S. manufacturing is vital to the entire American economy, and it has been hit hard over the past four decades. While there are reasons to feel optimistic, the road to American manufacturing’s future won’t be free of obstacles. By uploading your supply chain to the cloud, you can free up precious time to innovate, design, test and engage with customers. Staying competitive in the 21st century’s high-tech, super-fast global economy is going to be different than anything any of us have ever tackled before.
So take some of what’s hard off your plate. MakeTime has the nation’s largest network of qualified suppliers with the best CNC machines in the world. Make and eat your sandwiches faster. Let us be your fridge.
(This blog was originally posted on January 29, 2015. It was updated December 7, 2016.)