3DCompare launched new features to address the needs of manufacturers.
The UK-based service provides a means for comparing pricing among different 3D print service providers, hence their name. We’ve written about them previously this year, but now they’re beyond beta testing and have a couple of interesting new features.
The site operates as a kind of meta-layer above traditional 3D print services, who accept 3D files and produce prints according to desired specifications. The idea here is that it is often challenging to compare the value of these services between each other – the services want your business and make it tricky to do any proper comparisons.
Enter 3DCompare, which is directly hooked up to several popular 3D print services and provides a means to more clearly compare the benefits and costs of the services, allowing you to select the best service for a particular build.
Since they’ve been operating, they’ve found that a number of their customers are not necessarily end-users, but in fact others who are building parts on some other client’s behalf. There seems to be quite a few layers involved in today’s making business.
But having noticed this, 3DCompare has developed a couple of new features that directly address this type of user.
The first is what they call a “White Labeled Instant Pricing Tool”. This is a pricing tool, as you’ve probably seen before: load up a 3D model, pick a few basic print parameters and receive an “instant quote”. This is a vast improvement over the old days in which you would email an STL file to a service and wait a few days while the service contemplated the price they’d charge for printing it.
The “White Label” part is interesting. It effectively removes any references or branding of “3DCompare” from the quoting tool. This makes it very possible for anyone to insert the tool on their own website and make it appear as if they have a quoting engine of their own. “White label” means, “anyone’s labeling”. In reality, 3DCompare is doing the quoting behind the scenes.
The other new feature for those making for others is an integrated CRM and CSM tool. CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”, and involves holding a database of clients and their attributes. Using the CRM system, a 3DCompare client could manage a set of their own clients.
They don’t quite say what CSM stands for, but it’s likely Customer Service/Support/Success Management. This would enable the tracking and management of interactions with a client. For instance, making requests, or product returns.
This “all-in-one-place” approach should make use of 3DCompare significantly easier for those making many build requests on behalf of others, and potentially could attract quite a bit of new business to 3DCompare because of its presence.
If that wasn’t enough to attract clients, then this might: 3DCompare is offering the white label instant pricing tool for free! Well, at least for up to 20-30 quotes per month, which is certainly enough for someone to start a small making service business on the side. For more quotes per month, 3DCompare posts a £10 (USD$13) per month subscription fee, allowing up to 100 quotes.