Drura talks about the cutting-edge of American manufacturing and how e-commerce is impacting it. Superb interview.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as Xometry.
Drura Parrish: I’m the President of Xometry Supplies. Xometry is a fascinating company that’s working very fast and at scale to solve one of the biggest problems in the world, which is how do we make more things more efficiently and more profitably across the supply chain.
This can be best illustrated through an example where you have a brilliant engineer that’s trying to make a new widget to make a new airplane within a new airplane company to do things that’s never done before, but is unable to find somebody to manufacture it.
Simultaneously, while that brilliant young engineer is trying to solve this problem, there’s a machine shop located somewhere that’s having the exact same problem of trying to find somebody to give them work so that they can keep pushing the boundaries within their own shop.
So, Xometry brings these two together so that we can have a faster speed of innovation on the engineering side, a more profitable completion of the product, and an increased possibility of scale. Then this new airplane company and this new widget can scale when it needs to and pull back when it doesn’t need as many resources invested into making the product.
We can support entrepreneurship as well as help larger companies maintain the profitability that they have to be great employment centers and increase the speed of innovation in their own industrial verticals. Xometry offers an e-commerce platform to the supply side of it.
When you think about it, there’re all these machine shops in the United States that are going night in and night out, and doing everything they can to maintain profitability and supply the world with parts. It turns out that they’re really underserved. They are, oftentimes, asked to pay for a full sheet of material when the reality is that they just need a six-by-six inch square and they’re required to put this big sheet of material on their shelves.
Likewise, they need just a specific tool but larger companies are throwing them a book of a million plus products that they have to sort through. So we take the same mentality of giving exactly what that supplier or that machine shop needs to do the best possible job when they need it the most. It’s very much about keeping the front lines fueled and enable them to do the things that they need to do.
Also, while we’re taking care of our core suppliers, we are able to open up that same methodology of just the right tools, the right material, and just the right time to a broader spectrum and a broader audience.
They not only get the materials and supplies that they need to thrive, but also see that there’s this huge on-demand platform that can support them in producing those parts for the larger and the bigger scale runs, and the things that they’re prototyping.
Sramana Mitra: Let me try to recap on what you said and to see if I understood it right. You have one marketplace which is putting engineers together with manufacturing shops. Then you have another e-commerce business or is it also a marketplace that puts together suppliers with the manufacturing shops?
Drura Parrish: It’s an e-commerce business that brings together and sells directly to the manufacturing shops.
Sramana Mitra: You carry inventory and you supply to the manufacturing. The other one is a marketplace. So, you have a vertical integration going there within the supply chain.
Drura Parrish: It’s an increasingly densely-populated ecosystem supporting the manufacturer of goods. Looking at it from a nodal perspective, you have suppliers to make things and you have metal distributors who are able to get to them.
In the future, this enables you to offer a broad spectrum in unique customizable supply chain parts to a customer coming in from any angle, versus being totally vertically integrated.