Many of the changes resulting from COVID-19 will be temporary, while others will have a lasting impact. Xometry’s unique model within the global manufacturing ecosystem gives us insight into the repercussions for small to medium-sized manufacturers as well as customers buying manufacturing services across many industries including aerospace, medical, automotive, robotics, industrial, defense and aviation. Here are a few of our observations:
Uncertainty for Small Manufacturers
While uncertainty is now the norm for everybody, it is especially relevant for small and medium-sized manufacturers. The optimism of 2019 has been replaced by a lack of clarity about our economy. Xometry’s Small Manufacturing Index, calculated from surveys of our 3,000 US-based manufacturing partners, shows that over 80% of small manufacturers have been affected by COVID-19 and just 25% of them are optimistic about anticipated future business, vs. 45% in our 2H’19 report. These manufacturers have been the heroes of this challenging period. Our Manufacturing Partner Network is the beating heart of Xometry and the backbone of American manufacturing. Through the COVID-19 period, Xometry has supported its Partners, bringing them much needed revenue through our job board and extending credit so they can purchase materials, cutting tools and other MRO from Xometry Supplies with no cash payments upfront. For small and medium manufacturers, the COVID-19 cash crunch is severe.
Encouragingly, over 95% of our US-based Partners are still open, doing essential work to support critical medical, defense, food supply, and other needs. We’re pleased to see that Xometry can help make a difference: 33% of Partners in Xometry’s network are anticipating an increase in their business this quarter compared to just 25% of those manufacturers surveyed who are not in the Partner Network. We invite every shop in America that is looking for new sources of revenue to apply to join us.
Domestic Production of Medical Supplies
This crisis has highlighted a major need for medical goods to be produced in the US. In addition to seeing strong demand for parts from medical device companies, customers from other industries have responded to the crisis by leveraging Xometry to manufacture PPE and other medical supplies. We have worked closely with them to quickly scale production of masks, face shields, parts for ventilators, PPAP respirators, CPAP conversions, contactless temperature measurement devices, powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) and more. Through our manufacturing partners, we are now producing face shields in bulk from an open source design and made them available for purchase. We are delivering millions of PPE articles that are in critical need. How did we help our customers transition from making other products—and make the transition ourselves so quickly? Our agile network model has made it possible.
Re-evaluation of Overseas and Single-Source Supply Chains
Another lasting trend will be a wholesale re-evaluation of supply chains by leaders at companies of all sizes. Single-source and 100% offshore-based supply chains were not sustainable and the crisis has laid this bare. Efficient network-based approaches like Xometry’s, which give companies access to over 4,000 manufacturing facilities around the world, can rapidly adjust to changing political and market conditions and new consumer behaviors. These are the wave of the future. The digitization of the supply chain will prove critical to supporting the flexibility needed to deliver manufacturing on demand. As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s never been a better time for supply chain leaders to reach out to us for help in changing their approach.
Written by Randy Altschuler, CEO of Xometry