Digital study by Würzburg University and Leipzig University of Applied Sciences confirms: High potential for Online Manufacturing such as from FACTUREE

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Empirical study shows growing demand for advanced digital solutions to support purchasing and supply chain management

Digital study by Würzburg University and Leipzig University of Applied Sciences confirms: High potential for Online Manufacturing such as from FACTUREE

Berlin, 17th August 2021 – The use of advanced digital solutions in purchasing and SCM is gaining ground. However, many companies are still in the orientation phase. These are just two of the findings of a recent empirical study by Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky (Würzburg University) and Prof. Dr. Holger Müller (Leipzig University of Applied Sciences). The resulting study – "Advanced Digital Solutions to Support Purchasing and SCM" – conducted with the participation of 228 companies also revealed that new procurement methods via online manufacturers such as FACTUREE ( are an increasingly popular option and have a high potential.

The demand for modern digital solutions that provide information on global procurement markets, suitable suppliers, and supply chain risks is growing. In the context of the study, these included tools and platforms that use big data analytics, social media analytics, artificial intelligence and the like to support users, in particular for strategic tasks. For the research, it was irrelevant whether these technologies are developed and implemented by the company itself or provided as software/platform as a service (SaaS/PaaS) by a platform or service provider.

More than 70% of participants rated global transparency regarding relevant providers to be "important" or "very important", which highlights the great importance of the issue for companies.

Further, participants were asked about the current status of their use of advanced digital systems for the purpose of gaining a high degree of transparency of the global procurement market and of providers. Some 6.6 percent of participants reported that they already use such a system, 10.6 percent are still in the "introduction/test phase", and another 13.3 percent have "definitely planned to introduce one". Only 13.7 percent are planning "no use" in the years ahead.

According to the findings, the use of advanced digital solutions in purchasing is hindered in particular by insufficient time and personnel resources, but also by the lack of technical expertise, inadequate budgets, and an insufficient understanding of existing solutions.

Increasing focus on Online Manufacturing

Online Manufacturing is a new field in modern procurement that can help save resources, among other things. Manufacturing platforms and networks for parts procurement are becoming more relevant.

The result shows that the companies surveyed consider internet platforms to be important for various categories of products. The use of platform solutions for classic catalogue products is more widespread than the use of platform solutions for configurable goods. Up to now, the development is less advanced for customized engineered parts. According to a survey, some 10 percent currently use relevant platforms for engineered parts and another 2.1 percent are in the process of introducing them, while 8.5 percent have no specific plans to deploy them.

The Online Manufacturer FACTUREE – a trademark of cwmk GmbH – specializes in the procurement of custom-made engineered parts. FACTUREE has an extensive production network with currently more than 1000 manufacturing partners in the areas of CNC machining, sheet metal processing, 3D printing, and surface technology with approx. 8000 machines available.

Benjamin Schwab, Head of Marketing & Sales at cwmk GmbH, explains: "Even though the figures in the study are still rather modest for custom-made engineered parts, the findings show that there is a high potential, with 42.6 percent reporting that they have already developed initial ideas for its use. This highlights the fact that there will be a growing demand for platforms for custom-made engineered parts. The results also show that service providers are ahead of industry – 18.5 percent of them use the relevant platforms, in industry, only 10.3 percent."

A broad range of network partners and production techniques

FACTUREE's key advantages include the fact that free capacities and short delivery times are always guaranteed. This allows lower costs, greater efficiency, and more reliable deliveries to be achieved. Prototyping projects can be executed as well as small and large series production.

"Today, big data and artificial intelligence are ever more essential in the procurement process. We predict that production networks will continue to drive this development. As a result of the networking of markets and driven by the coronavirus pandemic, Online Manufacturing has also experienced a boost due to its advantages such as provider independence and flexible decentralized production capacities," says Benjamin Schwab.

The study "Fortgeschrittene digitale Lösungen zur Unterstützung von Einkauf und SCM 2021" [Advanced Digital Solutions to Support Purchasing and SCM 2021] is available in German and can be downloaded at:ösungen-zur-unterstützung-von-einkauf-und-scm

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Profile of FACTUREE – The Online Manufacturer:

cwmk GmbH, based in Berlin, operates under the brand name FACTUREE as the first Online Manufacturer. The company pursues the goal of enabling its customers to procure modern production parts through digitization, automation and networking. FACTUREE has an extensive production network of over 1000 manufacturing partners from the fields of CNC machining, sheet metal production, 3D printing and surface technology. More than 8000 machines are constantly available for projects. All partners are subject to a continuous data-driven quality management system certified according to ISO 9001. FACTUREE can realize prototyping projects as well as small and large series production. The customer base is located in the most diverse fields such as mechanical engineering, medical technology, model making, robotics, automotive as well as aerospace. Leading industrial companies like Siemens and Parker Hannifin, SMEs, research institutes and universities are among the customers. FACTUREE is active throughout Europe and has a continuously growing number of customers in other European countries.

Further information:

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Benjamin Schwab
Tel: +49 30 629 3939-96