Xact Metal announced a key partnership with GoEngineer.
Xact Metal is not that far from being a startup, as we first saw them debut only a few years ago in 2017. Now they’ve translated their inexpensive metal 3D printing technology, which can now 3D print copper, into a burgeoning company.
However, the trajectory for success is fraught with a number of barriers. To succeed, a startup must break through them to achieve higher levels.
The 3D Printer Reseller Barrier
One of those barriers, and perhaps one of the most difficult ones for a startup to face, is the prospect of organizing a portfolio of competent resellers.
Resellers are almost always necessary for professional and industrial 3D printer manufacturers, simply because the sales process is regional, and it involves entirely different skills and resources than used to design and build 3D printers.
Resellers are the parties that directly interact with customers, and as such they must have significant client service skills and processes. They have to gain the confidence of their clients and it’s through that trust relationship that equipment will sell.
A lousy reseller can quickly sink a 3D printer manufacturer because the clients may equate the poor reseller experience with the 3D printer manufacturer. In such cases it’s very hard to regain trust even if a new reseller takes over.
Therefore the choice of resellers is of critical importance.
But it’s not that easy to do, as the “best” resellers sometimes are not accessible to startups. Stratasys, for example, was once famous for arranging exclusive relationships with resellers: if selling Stratasys gear, the reseller could not sell ANY other 3D printer manufacturers’ equipment.
GoEngineer and Xact Metal
Xact Metal announced they’ve made a partnership with GoEngineer to resell their compact metal 3D printer systems.
But who is GoEngineer? They are one of the largest 3D resellers in the US, with 40 offices across that country. Having been in business for over 30 years, the company offers software, hardware, materials, training and services, all related to engineering design and production.
They’re well regarded, and boast high ratings in independent review sites. Their Glassdoor ratings are also quite high. They’ve been the number one reseller of SOLIDWORKS for years. In other words, it looks like Xact Metal selected a very good partner.
One more thing: the partnership is exclusive: this means that if you are in the US, you will be buying your Xact Metal systems only from GoEngineer.
This type of relationship has positives and negatives. One philosophy might be to try to get your product sold by as many parties as possible, but if given the opportunity to partner with a huge reseller, exclusivity might be a good price to pay.
One way or the other, we’ll see how Xact Metal’s sales evolve over the next few years in this relationship.
[UPDATE] Xact Metal has clarified to us that their partnership with GoEngineer is exclusive only to the Western US; they have partnerships with Cimquest and DELRAY for Eastern regions in the industrial market.