On demand manufacturing startup, Fictiv, raises $15mn for expansion
The funding was led by Sinovation Ventures, with firms suc...
The manufacturing startup, Fictiv, has announced that it raised US$15mn in Series B funding.
The funding was led by Sinovation Ventures, with firms such as Accel, Intel Capital, FJ Labs, Tandon Group, and Stanford-StartX Fund all contributing.
The startup takes an on-demand approach to manufacturing, and has been considered “the Airbnb” of the industry by Forbes.
The company uses software to drive product development, from prototype to production, creating accessibility to hardware firms.
“Fictiv is creating a new world order in which software is democratizing access to fast, high quality manufacturing,” remarked Dave Evans, CEO and C-Founder of Fictiv.
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“We are thrilled to have these global investors on board, helping us reimagine manufacturing as more efficient and effective for both engineers and manufacturers.”
The firm’s total revenue has now reached $25mn, and Fictiv will use its recent capital to invest in growing its global network.
“Fictiv is obsessed with continuous improvement,” noted Nate Evans, CXO and Co-Founder of Fictiv.
“By capturing and analyzing customer data, Fictiv is uniquely able to guide customers through the manufacturing process, remove inefficiencies, and help teams make better decisions.”
“The intelligence built into the Fictiv system provides an unparalleled customer experience.”
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.