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How to ensure your supply chain can withstand disruption - Xometry webinar with Jenn Ryan, Peter Goguen, and Greg Paulsen

On-Demand Webinar: How to Ensure Your Supply Chain Can Withstand Disruption (Full Transcript)

Watch this webinar to understand how Xometry's distributed manufacturing platform can keep your supply chain agile in the face of disruptions.

Serena Ngoh - Xometry Contributor
By Serena Ngoh
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What You'll Get from this Manufacturing Supply Chain Webinar

In this webinar, you'll learn how:

  • How distributed digital manufacturing increases supply chain agility amidst uncertainty 
  • How Xometry met the first wave of 2020 disruptions head-on with flexible sourcing solutions
  • What Xometry’s supply chain resiliency means for its customers and the manufacturing industry at large
On-Demand Webinar: How to Ensure Your Supply Chain Can Withstand Disruption

Speaker Biographies

Peter Goguen is Xometry Chief Operating Officer (COO). He has spent over 30 years in the Automotive industry delivering over $10 billion in automotive components and modular systems prior to joining Xometry. As the Vice President of Operations for Magna Interior Systems for North America and the United Kingdom and the COO of Dakkota Integrated Systems, Peter restructured the management group, led the growth, acquisitions, and consolidations of these two companies. Peter also led the team at Detroit Manufacturing Systems, a major provider of automotive interior systems. Peter holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University in Canada.

Jenn Ryan is Xometry's Senior Vice President and Head of Seller Marketplace. Ryan joins Xometry with over 25 years of experience leading operations for RR Donnelley, ADP, and Infosys. While the Division Vice President of Global Operations for ADP, Jenn was recognized by the State of Texas for creating more than 1,500 jobs in El Paso, and in 2016, she opened ADP's European Language Center of Excellence in Romania. Her global leadership experience includes Mexico, Europe, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and the Caribbean.

Greg Paulsen is Xometry's Director of Application Engineering, working directly with customers on special case projects that require attention on material selection, design-for-manufacturing, or technical engineering resources. With over a decade of experience, he has worked on thousands of manufacturing projects using machining, injection molding, and a variety of additive manufacturing (3D printing) methods. Greg also plays a vital role in vetting new technologies and materials to add to Xometry's manufacturing portfolio both for the instant Xometry Instant Quoting Engine℠ and their expanding marketplace.



Full Transcript

Serena Ngoh:

Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining today's webinar. We at Xometry are so excited to talk to you today about, How to Ensure Your Supply Chain Can Withstand Disruption. First, let me introduce myself. I'm Serena and I'm on the Marketing Team here at Xometry. You might have read my case studies, blog posts, or emails. Today, I will be helping to facilitate this webinar.

Serena Ngoh:

A couple of notes before we get started. Please submit your questions throughout the webinar in the question box in your webinar panel. We will be reviewing those as they come in and then we'll answer them all during the live Q&A at the end. Also, we will be sure to send you a recording of this webinar. So, if you miss anything, if you want to send a copy to your colleagues, then we will have that link for you to watch it on demand. Finally, please stick around until the end because we have a special discount code as well as a referral offer.

Serena Ngoh:

So, now, I want to introduce our expert supply chain panelists. First off, we have our guest presenter, Jenn Ryan. So Jen, wave hello. There she is.

Jenn Ryan:

I am not an expert in conferencing technology.

Serena Ngoh:

So, Jenn joined Xometry with over 25 years of experience, leading operations for RR Donnelley, ADP and Infosys. She was the division vice president of global operations for ADP. She was recognized by the state of Texas for creating more than 1500 jobs in El Paso, and in 2016, she opened ADP's, European Language Center of Excellence in Romania. She has global leadership experience, and she brings that all to Xometry to help us secure our supply chain and help customers get their parts day in and day out. So, thank you, Jenn, for joining us today.

Serena Ngoh:

Next, we have our second speaker, Peter Goguen. There he is. Prior to joining Xometry, Peter spent over 30 years in the auto industry delivering over $10 billion in automotive components and modular systems as the Vice President of Operations for Magna Interior systems for North America and the United Kingdom, as well as the COO for Dakota Integrated Systems. Peter restructured the management group, led the growth acquisitions and consolidations of these two companies. Peter has also led the team at Detroit Manufacturing Systems, a major provider of automotive interior systems. Peter is also very close to our customers with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University in Canada. So, thank you for joining us today.

Serena Ngoh:

Finally, we have our final presenter and panelist moderator, Greg Paulsen. Hey Greg.

Greg Paulsen:

Hey.

Serena Ngoh:

Greg, you probably know from previous webinars if you have joined us. He is also known for our well loved Willett Engineering challenge videos, and he is the manufacturing thought leader on virtually every industry podcast, and he's at every manufacturing trade show exhibit. He is officially the lead director of application engineering at Xometry. But, he's an expert on all things manufacturing, and can help you whether it's consulting on your projects, or talking about supply chain efficiency, and resiliency. So thank you, all of you for joining today. And, I will hand it over to Greg.

Greg Paulsen:

Hey, thanks so much, Serena. We're super excited today, because it is not that often that I could get these two people in a room, digitally, and pick their brains on ensuring supply chains can withstand disruption, and talking a lot about the Xometry model, how we're very resilient against disruption in supply chains. So, I, also, again, want to thank Jenn and Peter for joining on, because it's really exciting. You've heard their backgrounds. They are truly world experts in their fields.

Greg Paulsen:

So, I'm going to start very briefly just talk a little bit about Xometry from a survey level, but we're going to get into more of the details because today is a panel discussion. I'm going to bring some questions for both Jenn and Peter, and I'll help moderate the conversation and move through some follow-up questions. But, this is also an opportunity for you, the audience, as well to ask some questions, because we're going to have some live Q&A at the end. So, with the GoToWebinar features, you'll see a Questions tab where you can input your questions and feel free to ask along the way. We're going to save some time at the very end there to go through that.

Greg Paulsen:

So, let me get started with a little bit about Xometry.I always just like to start with a bang here, which is, we just make a ton of parts. We make a ton of parts at Xometry. So, we offer over a dozen different manufacturing processes, eight types of additive manufacturing, both plastics and metals, subtractive, milling, machining, turning, sheet metal fabrication, and more scaling processes like molding, die casting, stamping. We do some light assemblies, weldments. But, this is all around this encompassing manufacturing as a service, full supply chain. We have some magic behind the scenes that I think what we'll be talking about a little bit, structurally, as we go through our Q&A, but a lot of that is around this concept of distributed manufacturing. So, I'm really excited to talk about distributed manufacturing. And again, what makes that resilient, especially when you have supply chain disruptions around events and on the rise and possibly.

Greg Paulsen:

So Xometry, again, is a single source for on demand manufacturing, and a lot of our superpowers happened to be with this platform. You can go online, upload your digital models, so a 3D model or your technical data package, we offer for most our services, instant pricing, so even for machines, spec manufacturing, instant pricing, lead times available right away. We have some analysis of those parts. You could see how pricing and lead times update as you change, configure online. You can see a little gif there, that's Xometry's instant quoting engine. Behind all this, Xometry has their quality guarantee. So, we're a responsible party for making sure your parts are to spec and on time, as you expect when you order. So, there's got to be a lot to talk about under this, so I just want to keep on moving because I really want to hear from Peter and Jenn. Again, the topic here is, ensuring how supply chains can withstand disruption.

Greg Paulsen:

Just a recap, as Serena said, Peter is our COO, so he leads all our operations, which includes teams upon teams, when it comes to design for manufacturability, quality manufacturing, case management, customer service, and 30 years experience in the field. Again, he comes with an engineer mindset. I know this for a fact, when we talk about projects, he takes out his notepad, asks me every single detailed question possible because everything is a problem worth solving. And, we have Jenn Ryan, who is a supply chain global lead here. She's SVP and Head of our Seller Marketplace. So, when you are when you're thinking about scaling and thinking about building a global supplier network, Jenn is best in class for the job. Again, she brings over 25 years experience.

Greg Paulsen:

So, I talked a little bit about Xometry, and I want to bring in this, creating a disruption proof manufacturing platform. I think, our hypothesis, our thesis, at Xometry has always been in distributed manufacturing platform. So Peter, I wanted to actually get started with our panel discussion here, and just ask a basic question, what is distributed manufacturing?

Peter Goguen:

Well, Greg, thank you for having me and welcome everybody to this webinar. It's a pleasure to be here. Let me start by saying, Greg, that the sourcing process can be quite challenging. And, everybody that's with us today has the responsibility in one way or another to buy parts, get things made, get them shipped on time. Everybody knows that is not an easy thing to do. It's easy to say, but quite another thing to make happen. People want great value. People want parts delivered on time, and they want them right the first time. Anybody that's got a lot of experience in manufacturing, they know that that is not an automatic.

Peter Goguen:

So, if we think about purchasing, in a traditional setting, outside of Xometry, everybody has a set of partners or suppliers that they are used to working with. They are typically local. They typically are linked to their industry in one shape or form. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. But ultimately, they're limited, they can do what they can do. And, your access is to them, and, even over time, you've become conditioned to each other. You know what each other expects, you know what prices are right, you know what lead times you can sell at the end of the day. The process of getting all that pricing is pretty manual, right? You send out an RFQ. That could be an email, or maybe you have an automated tool, but probably not. You send out an email, you ask for feedback. People typically expect one to two weeks before they get back to you. Then, you're even having to do a bunch of follow-up to make sure that, hey, they haven't forgotten about you, that quote is indeed coming. Then, you realize that there are questions to answer, and there's a lot of back and forth, time, money. Really, at the end of the day, limited. You may think you got a good deal, but the reality is, you've got the best deal for your area, for your region.

Peter Goguen:

Xometry takes that to a different level. If I can take the next page, Greg, thank you. In a distributed manufacturing environment, what Xometry does for you is bring the best of the best to your doorstep. You're no longer limited by the people you know, the people that will respond to you. You're basically going to Xometry and Xometry has access to literally thousands of manufacturers. Jenn will talk about later, how we vetted these people and these companies. We've trained them up to be at a level that is commensurate with the quality and the delivery guarantee that we put on the table for you, which is a pretty big deal. At the end of the day, we make sure your parts are right. So, by coming to us, you've got this national network.

Peter Goguen:

What has been really interesting for me coming from the automotive industry and spending a number of years here at Xometry already, is recognizing these pockets of excellence that are hidden all over the country that you don't locally recognize. Sure you've got some great ones where you are, too. But, at this moment, are they available today, to start on your project today? That's a different story. But, when you're dealing with an international network of thousands of possible players, we always have capacity, we always have qualified vendors who enthusiastically are embracing your opportunity. Go ahead, Greg, sorry.

Greg Paulsen:

I was just going to say, it's very different, because when I think about, me setting up suppliers in an ERP, I used to be the item master guy at work, where I would put an item, put a vendor next to that item. So, my purchaser knows where to buy. But, you quickly can stack up 2000-plus potential sources. Then, all of a sudden, my ISO requirements require me to have them send an updated form to me and I have 2000 forms. So actually, one of the burdens I'd see, too, was on traditional sourcing, there's a lot of upkeep and process. But, when you think about distributed manufacturing, you have a platform that's connecting, right, so you're connecting buyers and suppliers and it sounds a lot more robust because it's single source and we've evolved. I know, Jenn, that's your wagon there, is you're making sure that we're keeping up with what the demand is, right? Jenn, you're muted.

Jenn Ryan:

I'll be playing the role of the human with issues today. People might have seen my mom arm come out to wave off interlopers. Peter and I, we both have our roots in lean and agile thinking, and we're bringing that to manufacturing and to supply chain. So, something that's really axiomatic is that if you want to see it done at the fastest possible price, or sorry, the fastest possible turn at the lowest possible price, you're going to aggregate capacity and demand. That sounds like really fancy talk but I'm looking at who's... I'm thinking about who's on this call. If you're on this call, you love supply chain, and that's what we're doing.

Jenn Ryan:

So, this technology and 25 years-plus in this industry at over about a year and a half at Xometry. This technology enables us to have close to the utopia of supply chain. We can see every pocket of capacity, or, rather, every pocket of capacity can see us. That leads to diversity, geographic, and for capability to the platform.

Greg Paulsen:

I'm going to actually skip because you are right on my next follow-up question, which is... No, you're already there, so I'm just going to keep this hovering on this screen, because you're right, it's a very flexible platform compared to the rest. Yeah, I didn't mean to interrupt, but I was like, this is a great segue here. What else makes a decentralized manufacturing? What makes it agile there?

Jenn Ryan:

Well, I'll describe a couple of things, and then Peter will come right back in. What I'd say is that, so much of what we do is instinctual until we get to work. So, we all know that you wouldn't run a hospital with one doctor, right? You wouldn't have a town with two police officers. I can't think of a situation in which I think I would ever recommend a single provider. Right? We're not looking at to have single points of failure. An agile manufacturing approach is going to allow people of various size and disparate capability to participate. I think everyone on this call is probably tired of hearing COVID, but I will say that COVID is a great example of what decentralized manufacturing can bring. As the pandemic moved east, across Europe, and then to the US and moved across the US, because we have 3000-plus partners, and the technology to make it very easy for customers, you don't have to navigate 3000, you bring your part. We saw no interruptions. We were up in every state where we operate.

Greg Paulsen:

So, that's actually a really good point. So, we're talking about decentralized. We're talking about the agility of it. I think a question for me is, I'm supply chain, I'm procurement, I'm an engineer that's looking to get a part made. Again, this is more on the elevator level, but what does that look like practically? We're talking Xometry, because, obviously, this is near and dear to our hearts, and it's an industry that we've invented here. But, how does that work? What is the experience of engineer? How do I source a part of what happens?

Jenn Ryan:

Well, sure. I think it's about whose problem do you want to have. In the Xometry model, you don't get a call saying, I'm sick today, or there was an earthquake in my area, or we've lost our power supply, because we have the access to the 3000-plus partners, and we've taken on that burden. So, if conceivably, anyone could have a distributed manufacturing platform, if you had years to build technology and expertise. So, that where, I think, is the magic of this platform. Again, I'm in one of... Probably the end of my career, I'm excited to do it here. Peter, what would you add, when I think of what does it mean to be agile, and to be distributed?

Peter Goguen:

Well, I think for starters, everybody wants to have great tools, right? You want to be efficient. We're all taught and pushed that, you've got to reduce costs, you've got to reduce your lead time. And, that's all about the word lean. So, when you think about what we've done is, we've created this platform that aggregates all this capacity that you talked about. All of this capability, this diverse capability, not just across the 12 different technologies that we currently offer and growing, but the amount of expertise within each of those verticals, is continuing to grow, right?

Peter Goguen:

If we look at the complex parts that we make today, it's astonishing. To get companies like NASA that tell us, wow, these are some of the most beautiful complex parts we've ever seen. That is a tribute to the kind of partners that we've been able to attract to our network, and the kinds of engineers that work at Xometry that can support those kinds of parts. So, we aggravate all this manufacturing capacity and we interface it, right, with all of you as customers... We interface it through our digital platform. So, that is an electronic, online way of bringing you, as we said earlier, instant pricing, instantly time, change your parameters to optimize the way you like, right? Material types, finishing types, etc. We bring you that and then we guarantee it.

Peter Goguen:

That's the big thing. As you mentioned, Jenn, it's not about, well, we're sick today. We got a problem today. We take that on time delivery very seriously, and we're monitoring as orders are being processed, that things are happening on time. Our responsibility is to jump in and make it right if necessary.

Greg Paulsen:

I apologize, if you saw my camera disappear for a second, I wasn't sure if I had a glitch in the matrix there. But, this is a great time to bring up one of my favorite Peter quotes, actually, that I use all the time because... Which is, we're not opening the window and telling you the weather, we're making outcomes. I think that's really true here is, the city manufacturing models can work in a lot of different ways, but one of the things we found is, we're making parts on purpose. We're communicating that to capable manufacturers, and we have skin in the game, when it comes to that, by being the lead on quality and the supplier. So, when you're purchasing through Xometry, Xometry is that vendor, and we're managing the suppliers for that.

Greg Paulsen:

So, this is actually, again, really good. A really good segue, which is, who are these people? Who are these supplier networks that we talk about having thousands of manufacturing suppliers. Jenn, I think, actually, this is really good for you. But yeah, tell me a little bit about these suppliers, how do we bring them on board to Xometry and assure the quality of them?

Jenn Ryan:

First of all, I could see myself and I look like I'm talking about my children. I am so proud to represent this network. We're talking about 3000-plus professional manufacturers, some of whom have broad in deep capabilities, some of whom have real specialties, but it's always deep. So, the vetting goes from everything from ensuring but this is through financial and other due diligence, to making sure that this is a company that can take your project and service your project. It's examining their capacity models, and making sure that each firm is using sound capacity science. It's looking at, of course, the quality. We examine every quality management system, and that is... We have people who work at Xometry, that is their specialty. We look at things that you don't want to use unless you need them, like what is your root cause analysis, and what is your response when there's issues? Anyone on this call is an expert in knowing that supply chains don't show their resilience until there's an issue.

Jenn Ryan:

Probably closest to mind, right at the surface is, we provide test parts that are tricky. They're hard. We provide instructions in standard work, and we have the same interaction about those parts that a customer would have with us. Our customers count on us. They want to upload a file and it's got to come out right. So, one of the biggest tests with all that other due diligence I gave you is, we send you a very tricky part that requires many turns, it's got to be finished. We don't communicate with you in the meantime, everything you need is in that file. So, there's a bunch of colleagues... The people who come out on the other end are solid communicators through the onboarding process, they've got financial and business credibility, they have references, and they've turned a very tricky part for us, within a very tight timeframe.

Greg Paulsen:

I think this is something that's reflective, and as Peter knows, we deal with... Many of our customers that are B2B top tier companies, which have receiving inspection, so we require receiving inspection. I think our suppliers, they benefit from not just being part of the network, but being able to access and being a part of the job board and all these wonderful systems that we have. I heard this topic before, we were talking about redundancy, I've heard the term self-healing come around. So, we talk about suppliers, how does that come into context. I'll let either one of you chat about self-healing.

Jenn Ryan:

Well, I'll start and then I'll give it to one of my favorite people. When we think of self-healing work... And, I love talking to other supply chain people. You've really going to think about nodes on your network, meaning cities, facilities, and if something fails, how can you respond and react. So, a self-healing network is one in which, with one node fails, other nodes can really stand up. Xometry is a great example of a self-healing network. Those of us that are experts in global supply chain will tell you that the way you weather a tsunami, the way you weather up a pandemic, the way you weather H1N1... I'm taking some of us back... Is an understanding where your work is and diversifying your service array. Fancy words. If you're in more than one place, and you understand that they have different operating conditions, you have a resilient supply chain.

Jenn Ryan:

Self-healing means, I don't have to make a plan and sound an alarm. When California and the real example would be, when the Northeast started to shut down... Right, I'm going to use a very proximate example. We were able, without needing to call people and sound alarms, our system, our technology, and then our expertise allows us to see that California, at that time, was wide open, and we were able to get that work done in California and communicate with our customers. Peter... Sorry.

Greg Paulsen:

I was going to say, for these manufacturers, right, it's not... Again, this is a non-dispatch, right? So, they're making conscious decisions, too. If they know that Hurricane Maria is coming or something else, they're making a decision saying... Or, working through. Peter, what do you see on your side from partners? I think you see [crosstalk 00:26:08] faster, right?

Jenn Ryan:

I do want to say that disaster recovery is a practice. When I worked for Peter, he really gave me some rope to build that. So, we don't wait for them to tell us there's a hurricane, we're calling them.

Peter Goguen:

I would say, the combination of Jenn, her team and our technology pulls off what looks like magic, Greg. Jenn is right.

Greg Paulsen:

Okay. [crosstalk 00:26:36] expand, yeah.

Peter Goguen:

No, that's right. We are practically telegraphing the hurricane. We are having our manufacturing partners recognize that they might be at risk. They are typically getting ahead of schedule, our early ships jump way up, right? And, because they want to get themselves out of harm's way, get their work out of harm's way, and as soon as the hurricane passes, there's a quick confirmation, are we still okay? And, if we're not, we're there to the rescue with a different part of the country. It's amazing to watch Jenn and her team in action, coupling with the technology. The great men and women on the team, they just do a fantastic job. And, partners, this is what's really interesting... It's a community. They all care about each other, and they care about North American manufacturing.

Peter Goguen:

So, the fact that they are able to supplement each other from one side of the country or another, or even one industrial strategy or sector to another... Yeah, we can make automotive parts, even though we usually do medical in our area, that's just a different shape. Of course, send us the work, we got you covered. All of our partners are taking work, we don't push it to them. Every job is a willing, manufacturing partner participant, so they want it, and we rate them. It's one of the things about the quality that Jenn brought to the team is, we put in place a quality scoring system that is live dynamic every day. We know and our partners know their score. A score that is a combination of quality performance, delivery performance, communication and engagement, and-

Greg Paulsen:

Which is amazing when you think about that, because you have, as a supplier... Suppliers, often, when they get feedback, it's not feedback, it's just the customer doesn't call again, if it's a negative experience. Actually being able to put a metric behind is something that distributed manufacturing could do exceedingly well, because you're working on a... Almost an unbiased scale of what is a general standard of quality assurance. I know, for example, I helped write up some more manufacturing standards on our website, and these are generally acceptable standards for quality, whether it's tolerances, measurements, surface finishes.

Greg Paulsen:

So, I want to move to our next topic, because usually someone says distribute manufacturing, who are our suppliers? The next question is, what's it cost me, right? So, this is a question that comes up a lot, like, does a decentralized manufacturing platform, does it increase my prices and lead times? Peter, I'll let you run on it and then I'll have Jenn chime in as well.

Peter Goguen:

Okay, perfect. Well, it's amazing. Look, we judge ourselves by bringing great competitive solutions to you. If we're not bringing you a better lead time, and a better price, then we're looking at the mirror and saying, "Hey, we need to do better." When you've got the broad network that Xometry's put together, and you basically get trained from that expertise that is across the nation, you're invariably putting a very good price and a very good lead time on the table. Then, when you couple that with the full service that we bring, right... Our cross-functional team of contract review people, design and manufacturing engineers, supply chain managers, problem solvers, machinists, 3D printing experts, the combination of all that is really quite phenomenal. We're nearly 400 people, Greg. It's amazing how we've grown and continued to grow, and this is just the beginning.

Greg Paulsen:

You said something that... A sentence that we use all the time, but for the audience here, I'll put clarification. So, you said trained. Because we use it here a lot, but we're actually talking about something that state of the industry, which is AI machine learning. So, when we talk about pricing, too, this actually machine-learned. So, that instant pricing happens because of the feedback loop, right. I think this is actually... I'll lead in, because I got a heavy nod from Jenn there. So, when we're talking about price, it doesn't sound like we're increasing pricing and lead times and some of the AI trainings there to help there, right?

Jenn Ryan:

Well, and we've moved... If any of us as individuals, or any of our friends on the call, attempted to recreate this, you would be the constraint, right? Because now, you're introducing orders of magnitude of project management, complexity, right? Vendor management complexity. If you didn't have the technology, and, really, the center of excellence, that Peter leads, you couldn't do it. So yeah, when you're listening to that, and you think, yeah, if you were trying to create it, it would increase cost. The technology gives us scale, and we get volume and scale by operating from a center of excellence. So, you really can get it. Because, we're finding the available capacity rather than pushing as Peter said, it is one of the times where you're going to be able to get resilience, the right results, and you're going to be able to get the lowest price. Everyone on this call knows what happens when you shove work into a fully subscribed plant. It's late, wrong or both, and we offer a real alternative to that.

Greg Paulsen:

You get your go away bid where it's, add a zero at the end. But yeah, I think you're right, when there's a high amount of supply, costs go down. That's something that distributed manufacturing can just naturally do, because in the marketplace, the redundancy, the ability to... When you press order, we're not waiting, the job is usually sourced and ready to start that day. So, it's something pretty amazing. When you press order 100 times that day, there's 100 jobs that are ready to start that day as well. It's kind of, an amazing platform.

Greg Paulsen:

We talked a little bit about quality assurance, so we'll run through this topic briefly here, because I think we already covered it a little bit. But again, when I talk about supply chain experts, it's like, yeah, who's your supplier? What's it going to cost me? Then, how do you assure it? So, I have 5000 manufacturers. We talked about that partner success score. So, that success score. I'm going to reframe this, because we already talked about some of the mechanisms. But, do we run a QMS, Peter? Do we have a quality management system in place?

Peter Goguen:

Yeah, of course. So, we as Xometry, we are ISO 9001, we are AS9100 certified. We have a lot of members from our network that are either compliant, or certified in those areas, as well as in some cases on the medical side of the business. Then, on top of that, we've got what we call a quality management system that we've made available to all of our partners. So of course, the big ones, they're already set up. They've got the certifications, they're there to take care of the big orders. The smaller guys, they're looking to develop, and they want to become the next big thing and we help them get there by walking him through what it means to be ISO compliant AS9100 compliant, and we feed them the tools, the processes, the literature, and we train them on how to get there. So, that creates a more and more robust a deeper and deeper network that allows us to bring these good prices in these low lead times.

Peter Goguen:

But, the quality, at the end of the day, has to be there, to your point. Quality in our fields are wide-ranging. Parts on specification, parts with the right surface finish, parts with the right finish, gold plating, anodizing, etc. The right material certification. Maybe even lot traceability. Maybe even proof that they're made in an AS9100 registered facility. All of those levels of quality assurance, they can be requested and they can be complied with. First articles, quality control plans, on how are you going to... I'm giving you an order, Xometry, for 6000 pieces, and they're going to be produced over, let's say, a six-week period, what are we going to do to guarantee that quality on an ongoing basis? We apply that with a traditional control plan that you approve.

Peter Goguen:

So, it's really Xometry's control elements, our partner's control elements, all basically dovetailed into what you really need. It's custom. It's for you, it's yours. [crosstalk 00:35:53]-

Greg Paulsen:

Oh, I'm going to go on a different angle for you in a second here. But, I do want to say that something wonderful about our digital infrastructure, is, it is auditable. I think that's something that's really powerful, especially because we practice so much in aerospace and defense industries, is this the fact that, even though you're working so many projects in parallel... Everything's unique. Every single job may have multiple parts in multiple processes. Actually, this is a good segue to Jenn, we have an auditable system... Quality up front, Jenn, what happens when an order happens? So, say, I have sheet metal, stainless steel, machine part and a 3D print on an order, do we do anything upfront on the paring side for quality assurance?

Jenn Ryan:

Sure. So, I have three things I want to cover here. I'm going to take us on a quick journey. So, it's interesting, because you're causing me to reflect on what I think are the real pillars of Xometry. We're willing to invest to get it right up front. So, from the customer interface, that's really a guided journey. You don't have to remember, did I need a DFARS on this, right? We're asking you the questions that go with the process that you've selected. It's why we'll contact you if there's a problem. We have a lot, that I would call, they're on the green line. We're asking the right questions, the right materials come in. So, to your point about embedding quality.

Jenn Ryan:

The second one and Peter's really flown this flag, is that we believe in standard work, so we're customized to the customer. But, we've got a Rosetta Stone that, when it comes through our technology, the interface that the professional manufacturers interact with, is standard for them.

Greg Paulsen:

Standardized.

Jenn Ryan:

It's standardized. So, it's eliminated a lot of the possibility of error. The third thing is, we believe in source inspection. It's a huge investment. Peters team came up with, what I would say is, a gold standard for virtual quality control as COVID emerged, because we were doing that, obviously, by receiving parts. But, source inspection, the folks on this phone are familiar with sampling and other methodologies. Sources inspection is an investment and Xometry makes that investment.

Jenn Ryan:

Finally, and, I think, as a supply chain professional, I also want to hear this, so I want to share it with you guys, is that the investments on the other side. Everyone knows problems happen in manufacturing. We've made the investment that between engineers, professional training for our suppliers, trained machinists, when there's a problem that isn't negligence... If you're negligent, you're out. But, if you have a problem that's really about understanding, we will skill you up. We actually have professional people that are dedicated only to supplier coaching.

Jenn Ryan:

So, three things, we stand by it, we embed quality up front, we stand by our work, which many people, they're working through partners don't necessarily do. And third, we've got root cause analysis that can really... We can look you in the eyes and say, yeah, if we have a problem, you're not going to see that problem again.

Greg Paulsen:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that's also an important note here, we mentioned having expertise on staff, and that's not just from the engineer side. So for example, I'm an application engineer, my expertise is mostly in applied additive manufacturing and molding, but we have other folks on our team that have expertise in different fields, including on our operations teams, so under Peters team, who are machinists experts and molding experts and tool makers and folks that can actually get on the line and have actually ran their own shop 40-plus, 30-plus years, to be able to overcome any challenges or questions. Jenn, I see the-

Jenn Ryan:

Yes, I need a favor. I need to ask this group... I'm desperate for questions, we have to have questions, it's one of the things that makes us feel good about ourselves. For every question we get, I'll make a $25 donation to a food bank. But, I need questions, please.

Greg Paulsen:

I think it's Giving Tuesday, guys, I believe, right?

Jenn Ryan:

Yes. So, for every question that the group gives or sends, I will make a... Peter's going to do it with me.

Peter Goguen:

And me, of course.

Jenn Ryan:

Because, I volunteered you.

Peter Goguen:

Jenn, who's really the queen of standardized work, everybody. One of the things that we, maybe, can add here about quality is, our system has learned what each manufacturing partner is really good at. So, through a combination of... Us evaluating is a part, a low risk, medium risk, high risk in terms of complexity, or what kind of industry are you working and coming from, that all helps the system guide your work to the most optimum location. So, we use that to create the price and the lead time, but we also use it to drive the sourcing process, right? At the end of the day, we got to minimize risk. Yes, we're going to stand behind it no matter what, but, of course, the best thing is that there are no problems, right? That everything just happens smoothly and quietly, and a beautiful part arrives at your doorstep.

Peter Goguen:

So, the matching of partners through our AI system, which is built on past successes, as well as capability profiles that each of our partners have. So, that's an important part of our quality assurance program as well.

Greg Paulsen:

Actually, I think that's a great segue. So, I have a couple case studies, and this is... So, Jenn, Peter, you guys can stretch out and breathe for a second, because I'll take the next couple slides here. But, I do want your commentary.

Peter Goguen:

Finally.

Greg Paulsen:

I know, right? But, the case studies that I chose today because we do so many parts and we have so many projects going on, I wanted to take something that's a little bit unique. Now, this does happen a lot of times when we work with a new customer at Xometry, is they usually throw a thing that they haven't sourced yet, which is typically the hardest thing possible to make. But, it's something amazing about a distributed manufacturing platform, is that we can usually say yes, and go through this. So, one of the first case studies that I want to bring up and a great success story here, this is NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. This is a component that they were making for their ECLSS unit, which is Environmental Control of Life Support System for the International Space Station.

Greg Paulsen:

So, these are components that will be in space for a vital life support system on the International Space Station. If you are familiar with NASA, NASA does have its own manufacturing facilities. But, they had a problem. These parts are big. It's a lot of metal, so even getting a specked out material blank to that size, is a challenge in the first place. Then secondly, getting a machine to multi-axis machine and hog out that much metal to high precision tolerances, is another challenge in itself. Xometry, basically, like I said, a lot of our new customers will say, here's the hardest thing because they were trying to weld it together, but starting welds for a spaceflight, in general, is just terrible to do because you never can certify welds and have full confidence in them. So, they needed it to be solid metal.

Greg Paulsen:

We went across our network. We were able to look at the capabilities, AS9100... Having a US-based shop that is able to produce something AS9100. Be able to not just produce it... Like, not just make the shape but qualify it. This part had secondary heat treats, secondary machining after heat treating, and then even specialized inspection requirements to it. So, it's not just a bracket, right? Like I said, a lot of our customers, you can order brackets, you can do 3D printing. In fact, we make a whole lot of parts, those methods. But, beyond prototyping and concept, real functional use in something that someone who's already a manufacturer, couldn't supply with their own chain and found Xometry to work through. Is there anything you wanted to add? Peter, you saw this coming on the inside view. We can't go too inside view.

Peter Goguen:

I would just say that, for example, with NASA and other similar companies, we do work for them every day. Greg's right, they've got internal manufacturing, they don't have to use us. But, we create that flexible capacity, right? They've got X number of machines, there people are expert at certain configurations. And, it's amazing how some people are really good at a part like this, that has a fair amount of turning involved with it. Other people are really good at making chassis. Other people are used to making small parts, titanium, inconel, stainless steel. Everybody's got their niche. When you're using a Xometry, you essentially have the entire toolbox of capability. It's really cool. NASA, or anybody else doesn't have to think about, well, we can't do that. If you have Xometry on your team, you can do that. Right? That's a pretty valuable player.

Greg Paulsen:

Yeah, and I will say, for stuff like these aerospace spaceflight, they're usually high spec, low volume, which for a lot of manufacturers, is not always the best combo that they want. But, there's manufacturers that just absolutely love it, they'll just take that work going through. By the way, I do want to recommend checking out the case study, we had a video for this. I'll give a shout out to Serena as well, who you saw at the beginning of this. She writes all our case studies, and has excellent conversation with that.

Greg Paulsen:

The other one I want to bring up is, something that's relevant, it's very timely for where we are right now. This is a Baltimore-based company, reached out to Xometry and found us and they actually invented a transparent face mask, and it was FDA approved. The challenge was, that approval happened in April 2020. This is the ClearMask project. So, how can you move a product to market when you're having global supply chain disturbances? They came to Xometry. I think, Peter, we've saw this. We were here in April looking at this, but we're now producing millions upon millions of this product. Actually, if you want to provide some commentary, because I know this is ongoing, right? We're doing sustain contract manufacturing. That's what you came up for. This is really interesting, right? This is not just spec, bag and tag, get your parts out, this is commerciable product that... The whole kit and caboodle when it arrives to ClearMasks dock, is part of the Xometry supply chain here. So, a very different process. Not just spec manufacturing, but yet we're using our supply chain stretch as well.

Peter Goguen:

So Greg, maybe I'll jump in and give a little bit of color here. So, it's going to sound corny, but we do make a lot of people's dreams come true. This group out of Maryland, out of John Hopkins, they've been working for a while to develop this product. As you said, Coronavirus hit and the world is taken by storm. They had a product that could really help, and it was great. We had a nice local connection which made it very easy. But, we work together to solidify the bill of material, to figure out how to procure this bill of material globally, quickly, and then to develop a manufacturing process, completely not knowing what the volume was going to be. It's never been made before.

Peter Goguen:

So, we go from one line to two lines to three lines to 22 different assembly lines producing this product in the hundreds of thousands per day. It was a very exciting process for us, exciting process for them as inventors and as co-founders of their business. So, it's really interesting how on one hand we're doing things for NASA and Fortune 500 companies and on the other hand we're helping young upstart companies who have a great idea, but they don't have the access to all this manufacturing know-how, supply chain capacity, logistics and materials management. We help them do this, and it's quite rewarding for everybody involved. We had a lot of great men and women as Xometry work hand in hand with our customer here, and it was quite a fun exercise.

Greg Paulsen:

I know the entire company was very proud of what we were able to achieve, again, given the circumstances. But, this is a really great segue to my final question. It's a good closing question before we get to questions and answers here. But yeah, Xometry, we have this white glove supplied chain approach, so people first see... It almost has this Amazon feel with just this click and buy experience, but we have so much expertise and the diversity of our network, to do so many different jobs. So, I have a summary here. I'll show you the next slide, but this is... I thought about Xometry when we were talking about what questions to ask, and I thought about the five R's of resiliency here, and I think it plays really well.

Greg Paulsen:

So, Xometry, how does Xometry's platform as a distributed manufacturing platform, withstand supply chain disruptions? Again, I have a little cheat sheet here, but I really thought about those five R's, robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness, response and recovery. I'll let either one of you chat on that.

Peter Goguen:

Go ahead, Jenn, please, take the lead.

Jenn Ryan:

Well, those of us who've grown up with supply chain, you're always trying to figure out how do I transcend points of failure. So, if you've got technology that can really onboard across 12-plus technologies... We bring in new technologies all the time, and really is supplier agnostic, it's that powerful. So, if I look at robustness... What's interesting is we've covered a lot of these, we talked about being deep and wide. Just as Peter said, the technology's learning all the time. It knows the very best people for a time-sensitive five axis project, right? That's the technology. Then, the response. One of the questions in the Q&A that's coming up, is about who stands next to it. If you've got access to 3000-plus suppliers, and if you're a meaningful revenue stream for many suppliers, you've got maximum leverage. That's one of the reasons that we even see customers bringing their suppliers to us, saying onboard the supplier, is because we've got a whole 'nother level of leverage, right? You've got your company, we've got a lot of companies.

Jenn Ryan:

So, when I look at response and recovery... And, a lot of it is mindset. We are powered by process. Many of the things that get in the way of supply chain, are really important things, but Xometry can really be an ombudsman for the company. We really bring, it's going to be late, can you make it or not? If you can't, we're going to resource it.

Greg Paulsen:

Absolutely. I actually saw some questions coming in. So, I will say, let's get some Q&A, because I know we're running on time here. So again, this is a great moment, if you want to, on the Questions tab in the GoToWebinar, type in some more questions. We're going to try to answer some. If we go a little over, I'm perfectly fine with that. Because, this is... Again, I will squeeze all the juice out of Peter and Jenn, having them on board here. Having them captive on camera is fantastic, because you could just really work with their expertise here.

Greg Paulsen:

So, I'm going to very briefly go through this. I'm seeing some questions come in, which is absolutely awesome. Some cool things that Xometry does that is, again, something that you don't normally see with a manufacturer, we actually have... We are very environmentally conscious, and, actually, over the last year, many people haven't known this, but Xometry's Go Green Initiative, we have been offsetting the carbon for all shipments domestically. So, we've actually been working with a company that you can actually purchase carbon offsets. So, we've been doing that for all shipping domestically, and that doesn't affect the customers at all, it's just something that we want to do for our corporate responsibility.

Greg Paulsen:

We also just added our instant quoting engine. A way for you to actually offset the manufacturing carbon footprint as well. So, if you're on the instant quoting engine, you can actually see carbon offset at the very top. As you specify your part because it'll change based off the process material selection, etc., you can actually offset a portion or the full amount of carbon and you can see what that'll be and also select where you want to offset that, whether it's planting trees or for solar or for wind. But, we now have the option directly on the site. It's something just really exciting that we're proud to do. Again, we want to be a very pretty aggressive company.

Greg Paulsen:

I also want to say that, one of the things is, we're always growing, we're always interested in getting more people to learn about Xometry. A great way to help pay for your prototyping is using your referral code. So, when you go to snaps... When you go to xometry.com/refer, you will get a unique link. You can send that to your cohorts and colleagues and they can register, if they go and quote some work, they'll have $50 that they actually spend against that project. So, they'll have, basically, Xometry credits that you use on the checkout page. If they purchase, you'll get 50. So, it's a give 50, get 50 program. It's a great way, like I said, to pay for prototyping, working across your teams. But again, that's at Xometry.com/refer. Or, if you already have an account, you'll see your earned credits link at the very upper right of your account page.

Serena Ngoh:

I'll go ahead and introduce this coupon offer here. This is valid for all of December. Please visit our quoting engine, see how robust our supply chain is firsthand by using this code instant 50, to get $50 off your next order of $100 or more. So now, let's transition to our Q&A. We've had a couple of questions come in. The first one is... and, I think, Peter, you're a great expert to start us off on this one. What tips would you recommend for a startup trying to decentralize a supply chain, particularly when they want to order a large amount of custom parts? I believe Erica, that was what you meant. But, please send us a clarification if we are approaching this wrong.

Peter Goguen:

Well, I would say open a Xometry account. One of the things that's been amazing, whether you are an upstart car company, or than just the next company launching satellites or launching rockets, we are a big part of getting your supply chain going. We have done that for so many already. Just every week, there are brand new companies entering very mature fields, but they don't have enough backing yet to get the attention of the high volume supply chain. Xometry brings you low volume, medium volume and high volume. We have now the breadth in our network to be your starting point to the end point supply chain.

Peter Goguen:

So really, if you're a startup, as long as it's in the technology field that we provide... And, again, if it wasn't there last week, check next week, because it might there today.

Greg Paulsen:

That's what I was going to say.

Peter Goguen:

[crosstalk 00:57:52], right? We have a team of engineers and other supply chain professionals, linked with this technology, linked with this platform that are going to be able to take care of you. Whether it's, again, a part for a rocket, a part for a new submarine, a part for the latest electric car. It doesn't matter, we can make it. So really, it sounds a little bit cocky here, but open a Xometry account and we can take care of you.

Greg Paulsen:

I think, one of the things we talked about really early on was, that lowering a barrier entry and Xometry's website, it's free to use. For the instant quoting engine, it just requires a 3D CAD file. So, you can go online, upload right away, see pricing and lead times through different processes. Again, I think your auto-quoting seven additive manufacturing processes, anything machined, if it's a sheet metal part. You don't accidentally make sheet metal, so you'll know if it's sheet metal, you'll choose sheet metal there. But, urethane casting and other processes, that's all transparent and available right now. So, that's 24/7 for you.

Serena Ngoh:

Can you give our customers, our supply chain professionals, a sense of the production limits or some quantity benchmarks?

Peter Goguen:

Hmm, good question. Actually, there are no limits. One of the slides that we glossed over very early in the presentation, it talked about prototype. It talked about low volume, product line prove outs. It talked about contract manufacturing. Today, I saw one of our team members working on a quote that was for 3 million units, right. So, don't think of a limit. Xometry has the ability to do quantity one, quantity 10, 100,000, 10 million. If we have to use multiple partners to simultaneously just blanket you with volume... Okay, because timing is everything, when you've got an invention that is needed at a point in time. We can have a dozen partners literally, simultaneously working on the exact same design to the exact same control plan all being monitored by our supply chain and quality organization. So really, don't think of limits.

Serena Ngoh:

Okay.

Greg Paulsen:

Think about your project success, and, I think, to Peter's point, is always what's going to make your project more successful versus the minimums or maximums. What is your market demanding? By the way, again, my job is application-specific, so usually the answer is different depending on what your timeline is. So, six weeks, six months, six years, those could be very different processes, so they were able to align. I saw, Jenn, your head nod. We aim for the sweet spot, right? So, we have sweet spot manufacturers for just about all these processes, regardless of quantity.

Serena Ngoh:

Awesome. Sorry, go ahead.

Jenn Ryan:

Sorry, I was going to say, you had me thinking of several projects we worked on where we used one technology to get something in people's hands in 48 hours, and a different technology that was better for the long-term deliverable. So, I thought that was a great example.

Greg Paulsen:

Yeah.

Serena Ngoh:

Awesome. So, speaking of a control plan for multiple partners, who is accountable, financially, and who is responsible for prioritizing the rework, or manufacturing, if and when a delivery is late, or parts are out of spec? This particular customer is nervous about losing the direct relationship to the supplier, that allows them to work through quality and timing issues together.

Jenn Ryan:

I'll take a stab at this one. I love this one. Peter may have a little bit to add. Just in full candor, our providers, when we're working with them... I'll say it a different way. When I'm at a company, I've been this asker. The manufacturer uses their relationship with us in a bunch of ways, but we have fidelity to them. The reason many people ask us to manage their suppliers, "Hey, can you onboard this person and this person," is that we can de-emotionalize that relationship. So, everybody knows a guy out of place, and that's Xometry's job, but for this customer, if they moved this work to us, a couple things that they would want to keep in mind. When you're negotiating with your manufacturer, their options are in-house, how can I push other work to take this work? They're making margin decisions based on your relationship, and based on that job. As Xometry, we can work with your supplier, and we do it all the time. What we say is, if you can't meet the spec, we're going to move the work. It's not emotional, we have that capability.

Jenn Ryan:

So, the buck stops with Xometry, we stand next to the work. Meaning, if there is a schedule problem, we white glove it through and you're protected financially. Secondly, and I don't want to minimize this, those of us who are in supply chain, is that you don't have to have a conversation with the manufacturer that says, I really like you, but. That's our job. The but isn't that you're negotiating just with that manufacturer, we can use our entire service array to get your piece right. Peter, how does that align for you?

Peter Goguen:

Yeah, no, that aligns great. Maybe one point to add is, we are bringing work to each of these partners from multiple industries. If they bail on your part, on one part, they are hurting the relationship with us, Xometry, who is basically the start of the funnel for all of their work coming from many sectors. They don't want to ruin that. We're not just one customer that brings the job once a month, we are the customer that's bringing them work every single day. Sometimes, some of these partners are doing a half a dozen jobs a day just from us. So, that relationship, that accountability, is very strong. Likewise us, we want to protect our brand.

Peter Goguen:

So, our brand is important to us, our work is important to those partners. So, it works to create what we see as a faster turnaround to issues because there are issues. It is custom manufacturing, it does happen. The important thing is that we're all transparent with each other. We talk about the situation. That we talk to you about the situation if we've had one, and we talk about prioritizing. Maybe you want a parcel shipment, maybe you can do without the finishing on your first two pieces, because they're really just being used for a fit check anyway. So, we can work with you to prioritize what you really need to obtain your milestone requirements, and then we work with our partner to do the right thing.

Peter Goguen:

Jenn made the other big point, we have options. And, if a partner can't deliver, because something happened with them, whether it was COVID-related-

Greg Paulsen:

It could be weather disruption, yeah.

Peter Goguen:

A machine breakdown, a weather disruption, things happen, right? So, it's like, "Okay, Bob, no problem, we got you covered. We're going to pick up your raw material. Here's a label, get that raw material delivered. It's going over... Well, you don't need to know where it's going. We're picking it up. We're taking it from here." And, we advise the customer on what's going on. So, we are dealing with whatever curveballs come our way.

Greg Paulsen:

Absolutely. I know we're getting towards close here, and I think that's a really good question. In the end, again, Xometry is your sword and shield, we are the vendor on record for you. We have our quality program in place. We do have our quality manual, and we stick to it. We have a full spec inspection team at our facility, so even for things like MCRs or RMAs, we do handle that. Well, oftentimes, we are taking that back to our facility it hasn't been through already. But usually, if it's been through our facility, it's going out right. So, there's a saying there that, it's not a bad job unless it ships. But, the truth is that we do have a lot in place to make sure that quality is assured and keep above a direct source competition, like when you're talking about... Just, you're working directly in a more centralized supply chain, because we have this parallel capacity. Serena, I think, we're at time. I may have drawn us a little over here.

Serena Ngoh:

Yeah, so I just want to leave us on a note. If you all still have questions, please feel free to reach out directly. I will be sending a follow-up email with Jenn, Peter and Greg's contact information. You can also reach us reach out to us at [email protected] and work through your account rep. Then, yes, thank you so much for joining us, and thank you to our panelists for sharing all of your knowledge and expertise. [crosstalk 01:07:49].

Jenn Ryan:

This has been the best hour of 2020. I could talk about this all day. Thank you guys so much.

Peter Goguen:

Thank you very much. Really appreciated the opportunity.

Greg Paulsen:

All right, guys. Take care. Thank you.

Serena Ngoh - Xometry Contributor
Serena Ngoh
I write about Xometry and all things manufacturing. You might also see me hosting webinars, designing infographics, producing videos, and working directly with customers to tell their manufacturing success stories. Reach out if you'd like to share yours!