Tech2B launched in 2019 in the Netherlands, with a focus on eliminating barriers faced by smaller suppliers trying to compete in the manufacturing economy—and helping manufacturers source and produce essential parts. The manufacturing supply process has many stakeholders as well as many steps involved in the bid and quote stages, along with fabrication and delivery. In addition, sharing design files with small suppliers posed a challenge, since the suppliers either didn’t have the correct software or resorted to downloading illegal copies.
For Tech2B's founders, a cloud-based B2B platform for manufacturing offered the best solution for reducing complexity and delivery timeframes, as well as bringing greater transparency, efficiency, and competition to the manufacturer/supplier marketplace. The ability to post company profiles helps marketplace members choose partners, while file-sharing, quoting, and invoicing tools remove friction from the supply chain. Tech2B is working closely together with Brainport Development Eindhoven, an economic development agency in the Netherlands, to ensure their fast and sustainable growth.
In today’s economy, manufacturing supply chains are more complex than ever. Even the biggest companies rely heavily on supplier networks of smaller partners with expertise in producing specific parts. Until recently, communications between manufacturers and suppliers—such as sharing project specifications, quotes, and designs—was built on a patchwork of email threads. In a bid to reduce their costs, smaller suppliers and fabricators often downloaded unlicensed versions of software to view their customers' design files. These inefficiencies prevented many smaller suppliers from growing their businesses.
How Tech2B solved it with Forge.
Seeking a better way for the manufacturing community in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany to work together, Tech2B created a B2B platform to meet the industry's supply and demand challenges. The company built the platform on Forge, which integrated well with Tech2B’s technology stack and offered the design sharing and viewing capabilities needed by manufacturers and suppliers. It was Forge’s Viewer API that solved a key problem for small suppliers, letting them view design files in many formats without the need for unlicensed software.
On the Tech2B platform, a typical job begins with a user posting a request with detailed specifications. Users can post, manage, and access diagrams and drawings in the cloud, with help from the Data Management API. Suppliers and fabricators looking to bid on jobs can view design files and specs in a web browser, then respond with detailed, accurate bids.
As the network grows, suppliers will find more opportunities to sell, manufacturers will be able to choose from more supplier options—and the industry as a whole will benefit from increases in efficiency, transparency, and competition made possible by the Tech2B platform.
Forge highlights include the following:
- Allows stakeholders to view design files in a web browser, eliminating the need for unlicensed software
- Eliminates manual downloads, saving users time and energy
- Levels the playing field for suppliers of all sizes, making manufacturing networks more efficient and transparent
“The Autodesk integration lets us offer a total solution for customers—who tell us our platform improves collaboration and helps them produce faster.” —Sjors Hooijen, Chief Technology Officer, Tech2B