Manufacturing as a Service, or MaaS, is growing all the more popular cross-industry and worldwide. But what exactly is MaaS, what implications does it have for commerce, and how are startups harnessing it? Let’s take a look at what it all means and some big companies making strides in MaaS this year.
What Exactly is MaaS?
Essentially, MaaS is the process of buying manufacturing time and expertise. Just as you would pay a freelance worker for support with the graphic design, the same can apply to manufacture.
A manufacturing company offering MaaS will charge rates based on bespoke projects, ad hoc. This allows companies to effectively outsource manufacture to an expert without the need to train staff.
Please note, MaaS referring to Mobility as a Service is slightly different. Do make sure to distinguish between the two when researching the topic further!
US Startups Investing in MaaS?
MaaS is a relatively new twist on an old concept. That means there are several ventures and innovators already making strides in the niche. Here are a few in the US worth watching.
Argonaut specializes in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and medicine on demand. This means the venture receives requests to produce specific drugs to create and dispatch on demand.
Argonaut is a US firm that continues to grow year on year. They work on contract bases, offering fill and finish as well as multiple types of drug packaging. It is an end-to-end drug manufacture assembly line.
Xometry is more of a catch-all MaaS provider and specialist. With offices in Rockville, East Bethesda, and Los Angeles, the firm offers 3D printing on a mass scale. 3D printing, however, is only scratching the surface. The company also supplies injection and insert moulding support, as well as sheet metal work.
Xometry works with known brands and firms such as Thermaco and BMW. Their ethos is to offer a bespoke plan of action right out of the box. If a company lacks manufacturing expertise or availability, Xometry can help.
Based in Austin, PopUp Tech offers a MaaS system with a slightly different slant. They provide end companies systems where their customers can create and order specific products. They support a bespoke shopping outreach platform.
This means that customers using PopUp Tech can effectively customize their products and order. PopUp Tech, through the storefront in question, will then create said product and ship on demand. It offers a new shopping experience across North America.
The Future of Manufacturing?
MaaS is a very appealing product in that it promises simple outsourcing for small and large companies alike. Not all businesses have space or capital to fabricate and build on-site.
That’s why MaaS startups are so lucrative, especially through databases such as Fundz. Investors and VCs can take their time to look for innovators steadily growing in this field. Could all manufacturing move to the on-demand model in years to come? It’s certainly a possibility.