According to Research and Markets forecast, the 3D printing services market is expected to grow to more than $13 billion from 2017 to 2022. With this rapidly increasing and overwhelming demand for 3D printing services, there is undoubtedly an enormous potential business opportunity for 3D printing service bureaus. However, as the 3D printing market grows, industry professionals are facing a significant challenge in scaling their current processes. Particularly with tasks surrounding the quoting and delivery of these 3D printing services. To overcome this problem and stay on track with the rising competition, many are replacing their current hodgepodge of disconnected tools with an end-to-end sales automation software. These new cloud based solutions solutions are built specifically to accelerate the success of 3D printing service bureaus. Most importantly, this is making it possible for 3D print shops to instant quote 3D printing services more efficiently.
Why 3D Printing Service Bureaus Need Sales Automation Software
Many 3D printing service bureaus are still using manual processes such as a spreadsheets or paper-based systems to manage quotes. As the demand for 3D printing services increases, these processes will no longer be effective. They do not provide an adequate solution for processing hundreds or thousands of requests per month.
To maintain business growth and keep up with the rising demand, many companies simply hire additional employees to stay ahead. However, creating a quotation manually is a time-consuming and inefficient process. Furthermore, adding to the headcount is simply a short-term brute force solution at best. Workflow inefficiency associated with using manual spreadsheets leads to an inverted 80/20 rule. This is wherein specialists often find themselves spending the majority of their time quoting high-mix, low-volume orders. Meanwhile, the ideal low-mix, large volume orders are not provided the extra attention they deserves. Worse yet, employees may find themselves wasting a significant amount of time on requests that do not ultimately convert into orders.
customers may self-service their own quotes and even place their orders without direct contact with an employee.
Innovation is required to overcome these challenges and compete in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing services market. 3D printing service providers must consider taking advantage of sales automation software instead of increasing manpower to grow their business. With automation software such as Printelize, built specifically for 3D printing service bureaus, employees can generate quotes in a second, which also allows them to handle other productive tasks of your business instead of spending time on the quotation process. Better yet, your customers may self-service their own quotes and even place their orders without direct contact with an employee. By adopting an online instant quote 3D printing software, employee resources can be allocated to other tasks such as machine maintenance and ensuring optimal on-time-delivery.
The True Cost of Manual Processing 3D Print Quotes
With manual processes, employees must quote and track each of the parts that are produced manually. This means doing lots of manual accounting and record keeping which can be prone to error. Particularly when it comes to a large orders with 100’s or 1000’s of parts. Manual tracking processes require significant effort to input all the identification information for the parts related to a single order. Production updates must be sent to the customer manually after the accounting is complete . Thus further adding to the time and complexity required to keep track of a single order.
We dove into the cost of manual 3D printing processes in our Automation in Additive Manufacturing post. In that post, we show that approximately 21.3% of technician time is spent on order preparation using manual methods. For a small service bureau that translates to roughly $10,000 per year in costs going to manual order entry and preparation. For a small company, that cost can majorly impact growth potential. Many 3D printing service bureaus are waking up to the hidden costs of manual processing. Thus we are seeing a rising demand for an affordable online instant quote 3D printing software.
As production capacity grows, so too does the capability and benefits associated with handling production through automation software.
Thanks to the automation software Printelize, 3D printing service bureaus are now able to store and track all information related to the order, maintain a catalog of parts and easily track activities along the production workflow – all while providing automatic updates to the customer so they can stay updated on the status of the order. As production capacity grows, so too does the capability and benefits associated with handling production through automation software. Printelize lowers production costs by streamlining communication and allowing the customer to self service with an online instant quote 3D printing software.
Reduce Complexity with Instant Quote 3D Printing Software
When an employee works in a manual environment, the entire workflow is disconnected. Today many 3D printing service bureaus are using separate systems for CRM, quoting, order management, accounting, along with other tools to manage their business. These systems are disconnected from one another and each tool requires manual input. This disconnect leads to either massive process redundancy or gaps in the process if any steps are skipped. This repetitive work can be eliminated through Printelize, which allows employees to input data into the system once per order and from there the system can complete the quoting process, customer communication, billing and status updates automatically with a single click. The whole system is connected via the cloud from taking orders to delivering the final products to the consumers.
The Future of Instant Quoting Software for 3D Printing Services
In time, the market will continue to grow 3D printing services bureaus and their share of the 3D printing market. Furthermore, the industry will continue to accelerate efforts to adapt technology that can meet the upcoming challenges head-on. Another great example of this is the SD3D SCADA platform for 3D print factory automation. Perhaps most importantly, the companies who continue to use manual systems and are unable to keep up with the increasing market demand will also be replaced. Any forward-thinking 3D printing or additive manufacturing services must automate their systems and adopt instant quote 3D printing software before their competition to stay in the lead.