Rotterdam-based Making.com, an online platform that helps makers find production technology quicker, announced on Tuesday that it is now accessible to everyone.
The company collects and democratises knowledge of processes and specialised systems, explaining the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ as well as connecting the ‘whos’ and ‘whats’. This knowledge was previously accessible only through long-established private networks.
Production technology for everyone
Founded in 2020 by CEO and founder Jorrit Aafjes, Making.com is on a mission to help entrepreneurs and businesses find relevant technologies to make their products.
It provides an open and online platform to help production plants select better production technology. It then connects technologies around the product, simplifies the selection process of technology, and connects to partners who can design, build and install to specific needs.
In an exclusive interview with Silicon Canals, Jorrit Aafjes says, “we were always impressed with the level of know-how and expertise that you can find within machine & equipment manufacturers. If you want to make or improve your product, these are the companies you go to and who will help you further. Selecting the right partner, however, is not easy.”
“We started by adding a small marketing team to our sales organisation to gain the first insights. When we secured enough funding, we started a new company, acquired the domain name & started building our data operation & content teams,” he added.
Making.com’s current catalog describes more than 1200 technologies that can be engineered to make over 300 products. The services are provided to both large and small companies.
The company generates its revenue by providing suppliers different subscription models to talk about how their technology can help make certain products. Currently, Making.com has eight employees and plans to grow its team to 12 by the end of the year.
Challenges faced while starting up Making.com
Jorrit Aafjes says, “at Making.com we talk to people who engineer specialised machines & equipment. It is not easy to get them to talk about how their technology helps make the products their customers are making. Many engineers prefer to build rather than talk about what they are building.”
“Finding the right onboarding format & process was a big challenge. Growing our catalogue to a minimum size was the next. However, our teams are now working closely with our partners to help them tell their stories,” adds Aafjes.
Making.com claims to be the first platform to group technologies around the products they help make, allowing creators of all sizes access to the ‘hidden network’ of machines, manufacturers, and tooling suppliers.
“Celebrate the makers”
According to making.com, manufacturing is a key focus area as economies worldwide search for solutions to kickstart after the current pandemic created-slowdown.
For instance, according to the report on US manufacturing from McKinsey, in the US alone, manufacturing accounts for 8 per cent of the workforce, 11 per cent of the country’s GDP, 20 per cent of capital stock, 35 per cent of productivity growth, 55 per cent of patents, 60 per cent of exports, and 70 per cent of R&D investment.
Making.com helps by offering a channel to make production technology more accessible and providing a shortcut for people who want to reimagine the manufacturing processes.
Jorrit Aafjes says, “We believe we need to celebrate the makers. The know-how and efforts they put into building and improving the products we use on a daily basis are underestimated. At the same time we have a significant and immediate need, as mankind, to rethink how we make things. People must have access to new technologies that can quickly help shape better products.”
Currently, the website of VEKAMAF is being redirected to Making.com. To make this clear, we asked founder Jorrit Aafjes if this is a rebranding.
Aafjes says “VEKAMAF and Making.com are two separate companies performing two different functions in the same industry.”
VEKAMAF is a technical trading organisation that works within certain geographical territories to help local production plants select, engineer, install & commission foreign production technology on site. Whereas Making.com is an online platform that enables connections between production plants and machine & equipment manufacturers.