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Why Start-ups Should Embrace On-demand Manufacturing

Alay Shah
Start-ups should embrace on-demand manufacturing
on-demand manufacturing via karkhana.io

The pandemic has changed the face of business—the landscape of manufacturing and production has been overhauled by innovation, automation, and technology. Large and small businesses alike are making optimum use of integrated technology in availing services and have bridged the gap between customers and suppliers. From shopping groceries to listening to music and hailing taxis—irrespective of the sector, be it health, education, banking, or e-commerce, businesses are moving toward a flexible structure catering to tailored customer requirements. One of the sectors undergoing such a transformation is manufacturing. Traditionally, manufacturing has operated in an analog, siloed manner across segments, requiring a tedious process of setting up teams to micro-manage every step from design to forecasting to procurement to delivery. It also meant that companies had to invest heavily, in terms of capital, human resources and time, in capacity building. This approach made product development and go-to-market slower for any new product. While large companies still manage through their processes, a start-up does not have the bandwidth to replicate these processes, nor does it have to.  The convergence of digital technologies enables on-demand manufacturing. Now, companies, especially start-ups, can focus on product design and marketing, while partnering with an on-demand platform like Karkhana.io to manage their procurement, vendor management, and logistics.


How Does On-demand Manufacturing Work?

On-demand manufacturing is a new way of organizing manufacturing. Buyers and suppliers use cloud technologies for ordering products, and thereby achieve efficiencies in the product design to delivery processes. On-demand manufacturing resolves inefficiencies and lack of transparency in the traditional ordering processes and makes the process of design to manufacture collaborative and agile.

It enables companies to rapidly test new product designs & iterations, improve delivery times, and personalize customer experiences.


On-demand Manufacturing & Traditional Manufacturing

On-demand manufacturing does not necessarily sidestep or substitute traditional, mass manufacturing. In fact, it complements mass manufacturers by providing more visibility in the business. From the process of finalizing quotes and proposals to shortened lead times, this model has greater flexibility as regards output. Companies end up saving time, money, and labor costs. With cloud based technologies, companies can now iterate and launch products in the market, and depending on the response, they can move to mass production. They can also respond to change in customer demands by launching new products quickly.


For Technology & Design Focused Start-ups, On-demand Manufacturing is a Boon!

With on-demand manufacturing, start-ups focused on technology and product design can outsource prototyping and mass production, and thereby avoid the costs and time-frames associated with setting up massive factories.

For example, a manufacturer of home automation products can prototype its new range of lighting using different material and manufacturing processes in order to test the feasibility of the design. A third-party cloud platform takes care of vendor sourcing and quality testing, delivering the prototypes for the company to evaluate. On establishing the feasibility, the company can move to mass production of the product, with a strategic tie-up with an on-demand manufacturing platform.


Can Your Start-up Scale with On-demand Manufacturing?

For a start-up, optimizing resources at a prototype stage can help save material costs of carrying operations. If you are looking for cost-effective ways to reduce the time your product takes to go to market and need a ready network of vendors, on-demand manufacturing is a step in the right direction.


Advantages of On-demand Manufacturing


  • End-to-end Manufacturing Support - An on-demand manufacturing partner like Karkhana.io takes care of the entire process of DfM analysis, material & process selection, vendor management, quality control, and delivery.
  • Enhanced Customer Experiences - One of the biggest advantages of on-demand manufacturing is greater visibility and control in the customer’s hands. On-demand manufacturing helps in fostering better channels of communication among customers and suppliers, which in turn leads to improved project management and helps mitigate any losses or risks.
  • Smaller Batches - In traditional manufacturing, businesses are required to produce large volumes of goods to make the process more cost-effective. However, processes such as 3D printing, soft tooling, vacuum casting, and proto tools enable manufacturing in small batches for specific market needs.  For example, a bike manufacturer requiring just 200 mudguard pieces, can use 3D printing technology to test design and material, and eventually use the final product for the bike.
  • Stronger Opportunities - On-demand manufacturing allows customers to personally oversee and contribute to the manufacturing process. For example, a hardware start-up can offer customized enclosures for electronic products through on-demand manufacturing, and add to its value proposition. The customized offering also provides an opportunity to test whether a larger market exists for a particular product.


Karkhana.io - Your Ally for On-demand Manufacturing


Karkhana.io is India’s foremost on-demand manufacturing company. We partner with start-ups, small & medium enterprises and large businesses, and address their prototyping and mass production requirements. We have a large number of trusted vendors with manufacturing capabilities spanning 3D printing services, vacuum casting, sheet metal fabrication, CNC machining, and injection molding.

In a highly fragmented and inefficient vendor ecosystem such as it exists in India, our platform digitalizes procurement, project management, and logistics. We adhere to robust processes in terms of IP protection, materials & engineering, quality control and logistics. Karkhana.io takes the pain out of the vendor management process - ensuring a seamless experience for our customers.


Hence, if you are a start-up planning to launch a product but figuring out the manufacturing aspects of it, try Karkhana.io for your needs today.

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