Mike Moceri, founder and CEO of MakerOS [Source: Mike Moceri]
We spoke with Mike Moceri, the founder and CEO of MakerOS, a software service directed at production 3D printing operations.
Fabbaloo: Your company tagline is the “efficiency platform”. Was there an “inefficiency incident” that led you to form MakerOS?
Mike Moceri : MakerOS was born out of my frustrations from dealing with clients and managing the workflow of projects while I ran a 3D printing service bureau in Chicago. Simply put, there was no software platform designed for a product development or prototyping company to handle the specific needs and demands of an inbound 3D printing project from start to finish, so I decided to build my own.
Fabbaloo: What was it like deciding to start the company and putting things together at the very beginning?
Mike Moceri: Even before starting the company, the first thing I did was to seek validation for the same issues that I ran into with other fabrication shops that offered 3D printing, CNC, and other similar services. During a 5 month period, I personally interviewed and spoke with shop floor managers, business owners, and application engineers across the industry. Did other business owners experience the same problems I did? Was time and resources being wasted because of inadequate tools to facilitate projects? After interviewing over 100 companies, the answer was an overwhelming “yes”. Once I validated the problem, I began building the solution.
Fabbaloo: What exactly does MakerOS do? How does it make things more efficient? And for whom?
Mike Moceri: MakerOS is a business solution for product development companies that offer either 3D printing, CNC, laser cutting, product design, or any other digital fabrication service. The primary purpose for your company varies, depending on what type of company you are. If you’re just starting out, MakerOS is an out-of-the-box, turn key solution to get infrastructure set up and get your business up and running. If you’re more established, MakerOS can optimize your existing processes, help you win more clients. By being more efficient with MakerOS, we help drive growth, profitability, and scale your business.
Ultimately, MakerOS is a software platform for 3D printing and digital fabrication companies to better collaborate with their clients throughout the entire lifecycle of the project from start to finish.
Our software features a suite of integrated tools that ensures project workflows are completed both optimally and efficiently. The tools include a “Public Autoquoter”, an online 3D viewer, a file sharing and messaging portal, an inventory manager, and a payment portal. All of those tools are connected and work with each other so that the process is streamlined and made incredibly easy for both the business and the client. So, our Autoquoter doesn’t just quote, it feeds into the project workflow and informs all relevant parties so that everyone is set up for success. We always like to say to our clients, “You’re not in the business of quoting, you’re in the business of executing projects for your customers.” That’s what our software enables you to do, and I’d say that also embodies the whole ethos of MakerOS.
Fabbaloo: From your initial concept, have things changed? Did your business pivot along the way? What surprises were encountered?
Mike Moceri: At its core, the business has not changed very much. Our goal has always been to help our clients do what they do best (which obviously is to make stuff) and not get bogged down by the minutiae of business management. That’s always been the driving force behind the features we’ve built into our software. Most changes have revolved around those features, what they are, how they work, and how they interact with each other.
The biggest surprise has come from talking to dozens of 3D printing businesses about how they’ve set up their business. We realized that a lot of them need help beyond the problems that the MakerOS software can provide solutions for, especially with how they’ve set up their pricing.
That’s why we developed a 3D printing pricing calculator. Based on our years of experience in the industry, it accounts for various inputs including rent, human time, machine time, and more, to give a real baseline number for how much they should price and, more importantly, how much they should be profiting from their services.
We took a very holistic approach in developing the calculator, which we elaborate on in our most recent on-demand webinar, “How to Optimally Price For Your 3D Printing Service Bureau in 2020.”
We’re also developing a series of in-depth videos all about how to run a 3D printing business that will be up on our Youtube channel very soon.
Fabbaloo: Can you tell us a few success stories of your clients making bank by using MakerOS?
Mike Moceri: Roboto.NYC is a design and fabrication shop based in Brooklyn, and they’re one of our clients who’ve grown tremendously with the MakerOS software. They really take advantage of the communication and file sharing aspect of our software, which they refer to as their “single source of truth” when going back and forth with clients. Within the first year of using the MakerOS software, they’ve reduced their development cycle from three weeks to just 4 days and increased their revenue by 10X.
Another one of our clients, mHUB, is a product development incubator based out of Chicago, and they utilize the MakerOS software differently than Roboto.NYC. In their incubator, they have a dedicated 3D printing lab with Polyjet, SLS, SLA, FDM, and Metal machines that any of their hundreds of members can use. Managing who uses the machine and at what date and time was a challenge before they implemented MakerOS. Afterward, from a single dashboard, the mHUB team is now able to review, accept, and process requests for 3D printing jobs from each member company. Collaboration!
Fabbaloo: If you could describe the “ideal client” for MakerOS, who would they be? How would someone recognize they need the service?
Mike Moceri: MakerOS is perfect for any product development company. If you’re a shop manager, application engineer, product designer, sales engineer, or b
usiness owner that collaborates with customers, we offer a great value to your business.
Fabbaloo: Is it expensive to use MakerOS? What is the payment approach? Does it scale up as a client grows their business?
Mike Moceri: It’s not expensive to use MakerOS, especially when you consider the ROI from the time saved from the back and forth with clients and the fact that we’ve seen our clients increase revenue by 10X. Our payment approach is standard for any software service. We have three pricing tiers, each one tailored to your business needs and size. You have the option to pay monthly or annually with a 20% discount for the annual option.
Fabbaloo: When a product is released, there are usually surprising asks from customers. What features did you develop along the journey to meet the unexpected needs of your client base?
Mike Moceri: A lot of the feedback we’ve received from our clients has been about how to improve the user experience within the platform. We’re making it much more mobile-friendly after hearing how often clients use the platform on their phones (no surprise there).
One specific tool we built after hearing some unexpected feedback is the 3D printing pricing calculator I mentioned earlier. Every client we’ve spoken to about the calculator has loved it and expressed how they’ve gained great value from it.
Fabbaloo: What’s the key MakerOS feature your clients most appreciate?
Mike Moceri: Our clients talk a lot about how our Autoquoter doesn’t just stop at quoting, the process continues on to our project management and communication tools. Having the quoting system sync with their inventory and current projects in real-time enables them to set realistic expectations for existing and, more importantly, new clients. That’s their secret sauce for winning and retaining more clients, and of course, it’s much appreciated.
Fabbaloo: While you might not be able to say, what plans do you have for the future? How will MakerOS evolve? Are you looking at any specific areas?
Mike Moceri: We’ve got big plans for the future.
We’re constantly refining and adding new features, and we’re expanding beyond 3D printing and additive manufacturing companies as soon as the end of this year.
Eventually, we’ll move on to our next phase: Overflow.
Overflow will be a place for product makers to build their supply chain, expand their sales channels, and work with verified suppliers. We’re well on our way to this next step in our evolution, so stay tuned.