Research | Technology

AI and Cloud Technology is Transforming Manufacturing on Demand

According to Randy Altschuler, CEO of Xometry, customers are looking to find the best supplier that can help them run more efficiently and lower their operating costs and Xometry is primed to be that one-stop shop for customers.

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By Matt Hedberg, Featuring Randy Altschuler
Published July 20, 2023 | 3 min read
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Key Points

  • Rapid digitization is boosting the market for on-demand parts manufacturing and Xometry’s AI-powered marketplace is expanding to better serve demand.
  • With ageing workforces and labor retention challenges manufacturers need to commit resources to support the next generation of inventors and technicians.
  • Business leaders need to invest in cloud technology if they want to stay competitive.
  • Many companies are preparing for M&A deals in 2023—but integration will be key for successful acquisitions.

Xometry is an AI-powered on-demand industrial parts marketplace, founded by CEO Randy Altschuler and Managing Director Laurence Zuriff in 2013. Its cloud-based AI platform offers the capacity to rapidly create quotes for specialist parts that are unique to each customer’s needs and connect the right buyers with the right sellers across industries.

In the last year, Xometry has been able to drive what CEO Randy Altschuler describes as hypergrowth, driven by the significant supply chain constraints due to the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict, which are pushing manufacturers to find new innovative solutions.

In the secular shift to online and digital solutions, manufacturing has lagged behind, say Altschuler. Manufacturers have been relatively slow to fully embrace digitization; many struggle to integrate digital technology with legacy systems and find it difficult to realize investment returns within traditional timeframes. But digital innovations like AI and machine learning (ML) have created new opportunities and helped reduce costs.

Expansion is key to serving a growing customer base

Xometry’s key focus is to continually invest in developing services for its suppliers, according to Altschuler. The company is based in Europe and offers localized marketplaces in nine different languages— expanding into China last April, and then entering the UK market in January this year.

"Customers are looking to find the best supplier that can help them run more efficiently and lower their operating costs. We want to be that one-stop shop for the corporate buyer. Anything they want, we can deliver."

Randy Altschuler, CEO, Xometry


Manufactures need to support the workforce of the future

Xometry also wants to inspire the next generation of inventors. The company is part of the Pledge 1% movement and is committed to supporting charitable organizations. In a bid to improve educational opportunities it has created 250 scholarships for machinists and technicians and pledged over $900,000 to Howard University.

Across developed economies, manufacturers are facing labor shortages brought on by an ageing workforce. The industry can also face a perception problem in attracting and retaining staff: manufacturing is often not seen as an exciting, innovative industry. However, companies like Xometry are focused on building enthusiasm for participation in the sector amongst unrepresented groups and fostering greater inclusion. 

Investment in cloud infrastructure is now essential for business success

In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, businesses need to remain forward-thinking and investing in cloud technologies is key to that. Remote and hybrid working practices are likely here to stay in one form or another.

For manufacturers, operating from the cloud helps improve supply chain management in a world of frequent disruption and bottlenecks. Cloud operations typically allow businesses to work faster, be more agile, and scale their operations to meet demand.

“You have to always assume that your customer is smart and they're going to find the next best thing. So instead of stepping back and trying to protect your kingdom, you're better off leaning forward, even if that means some investment. The smart companies are always pushing the envelope.”

As well as investing in technology, businesses need to invest in their workforces. While many question how pervasive trends like “the Great Resignation” or “quiet quitting” may be, there is definitely a sense of a shift in the employee/employer relationship. Companies that have increased their focus on employee engagement and retention are seeing increased revenues and profits.[1]

Integration is a key driver of successful M&A

At a time when economic uncertainty is growing, there are greater opportunities for M&A in the tech space. But acquiring a new company or product brings challenges; from poorly matched business objectives to conflicting corporate cultures. Altschuler believes that it is important to fully incorporate acquired companies into the organization for a successful merger.

 “If you're going to buy another company, ensure you're going to fully integrate it right away, so there's no ‘them and us’—we're all one team together. It's also important for you to get to know the other company's customers and their operations. And technology integration is also critical,” he says.


This content is based on commentary and analysis from RBC Capital Markets' Global Technology Internet Media and Telecommunications Conference hosted in New York, NY on November 15-16 2022. For more information about the conference, please contact your RBC representative

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