Luke Smoothy of Get It Made tells us how they make manufacturing simple.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Luke Smoothy: All is going well, thank you, currently juggling a 1.5-year-old when working at home. It is really nice, but also really difficult!
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Get It Made.
Luke Smoothy: My background was in designing award-winning office furniture, which taught me how to expertly manage complex projects from design to production.
Design and engineering are hard skills to master, but something that is even harder is getting things made. I spent a great deal of my time working with factories, getting prototypes made, and getting products into production for clients. I realized two things, I was good at it, and most importantly, there was a huge difference in service and quality between great suppliers and average suppliers. Completely ignore the many bad ones! Over the years, I found a few great suppliers.
So one day, I set up a “side hustle,” arm in arm with my few great manufacturing partners. I worked evenings and weekends helping people and businesses initially with their CNC Machined parts. Get It Made adds a slick layer of highly personalized service to manufacturing, which I always found lacking. Manufacturers sometimes forget they are service companies too.
It very quickly took off, and I started developing Get It Made and relentlessly focused on perfecting the service we offer. We aim to be the oil in the process, removing friction and making sure projects run smoothly from quotation to delivery of parts. I always focused on developing a service I would have wanted, which made my job easier.
Get It Made is set up to offer a one-stop solution for bespoke manufacturing. This new service-focused division of the manufacturing industry is now known as MaaS, Manufacturing as a Service.
How does Get It Made market its product/services online?
Luke Smoothy: We market our services as an alternative to the ones offered by our competitors. As the manufacturing industry has evolved, the customer service it provides appears to have been left behind as organizations focus instead on automated quoting and customer queries. Naturally, this leads to some issues, as online automated services often do, and customers are left feeling disillusioned and unsatisfied, and their projects unfinished.
Here at Get It Made, we understand the importance of communication when discussing a client’s project. As well as offering extensive manufacturing expertise, we can provide an online experience that is based around a positive customer experience, as we favor human communication rather than an automated computer system.
We offer a bespoke service and a one-stop shop for all manufacturing needs under one roof. We harness the power and economics of overseas and local manufacturing, coupled with a responsive, customer-focused service. Often we reply to our clients within minutes. Many other suppliers might take several days.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Luke Smoothy: Like virtually all other companies worldwide, Get It Made was not immune to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This can be seen in the quotes I gave in an interview at the height of the pandemic in 2020, in which I stated I would consider partnering with a direct rival due to the financial impact of the pandemic. However, unlike some of our competitors, we were not answering shareholders or working to sales targets out of our control. As an independent company, we found ourselves in a fortunate position whereby we had sufficient cash to bide our time and wait for the demand for our services to increase once more. Since coming out of the pandemic, we are set to record our most profitable financial year to date.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Luke Smoothy: Semrush/Ahrefs
We use a combination of marketing tools and software in order to manage our online marketing. Programs such as Semrush and Google Analytics help us keep track of our website’s general day-to-day trajectory and map our progress in establishing our organization within the manufacturing industry. We have recently started utilizing social media to generate online traffic, and we have found this to be a useful tactic in publicizing certain aspects of our website content. Furthermore, a recently-formed partnership with a global SEO agency means we feel more confident than ever in terms of managing and optimizing our online marketing moving forward.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Luke Smoothy: Protolabs
Hubs (part of Protolabs)
Research into our competitors illustrates the scale of the task facing us. The financial power of the organizations listed above is substantial, with Xometry and Protolabs even listed on the New York Stock Exchange. As a result, we have to offer a service unavailable elsewhere to represent an attractive alternative. This focus on service is one of the foundations upon which our organization was built. We aim to ensure that customer service is at the forefront of all the work we carry out, rather than the automated systems on offer at our competitors.
Your final thoughts?
Luke Smoothy: The next few steps for our business are sustainable growth so that we can support more customers. We increased our team size and greatly increased the investment in marketing and making sure our operations are smooth and operate like clockwork.