MFG.com: a marketplace for the manufacturing industry. It’s for anyone who’s designed a product and wants to get it manufactured. The CEO is on stage talking about it.
He’s talking about all the difficulties involved in bringing a manufactured product to market.
And, now he’s showing his product which manages the process of manufacturing product. It’s a Flex application that covers the whole enchilada, from a dashboard showing the status of items to a way to manage RFQs to address books, to do lists, etc.
It looks great. The Flex-specific features seem to be manually some nice eye-candy for transitions and use of the Flex Charting package.
Q: “This is Flex; what’s the AIR application?”
A: “We’ve architected this to work with both Flex and AIR; this is important for countries that are bandwidth constrained.”
Q: “What is the development timeframe to get an application like this built?”
A: “It’s a very complex application; we’ve spent about a year building it. Five months of that was on the UI / User Experience portion; this is time before we started coding. About 18 people worked on it.”
Someone asked a question that’s made the MFG CEO talk about how the application has been very successful; the thing that caught my ear is how they added ratings to various suppliers in the manufacturing chain which he claims has revolutionized the market.
Q: “How do people react to this product?”
A: “They are absolutely astonished. Their choices have been SAP and other products that don’t really connect into the whole cycle. There are hundreds of thousands of companies that use this for free. We charge the suppliers a subscription fee – $5 – $10,000 a year. When people sign up, they instantly receive tons of targeted RFQs immediately. It’s revolutionized our business.”
Q: “How long before your competition erases your first-mover advantage with a sexy application?”
A: “We’ve been in the market for 8 years. It’s a really really hard thing to do. We don’t really have much competition. There were about 3,000 competitors, but once you aggregate the herd effective, our adoption has created a barrier that’s much more powerful than the technology.”