My phone buzzed during class, causing me to instinctively check it. The message was brief: Prototype is done, come now. My excitement built rapidly as I left class early and rushed across Johns Hopkins’ campus to the library. Standing at the entrance was my co-founder Alex Mathews, holding the device we had been tirelessly working on for 8 months now, along with the person who would be wearing it. Moving the freshly 3D-printed device towards the person’s leg, we held our breaths with anticipation… it fit!
Alex and I started a company calledFusiformin 2014 with the goal of reinventing and automating the process of producing orthopedic devices such as prosthetic limbs.
The methods of producing these devices were outdated: patient data was received by paper, fax, or phone, and device components were often produced by hand. In response, we built software that reduced a month-long timeline of hand-producing the devices to a 2-day process of scanning and hitting print.
However, we quickly hit a dead end.
Though they embraced the technology, manufacturers didn’t have the ability to support and scale a digital process like this. They were stuck using legacy software, incredibly inflexible systems built on decades old technology, to manage their businesses.
Tied to these softwares, manufacturers had two options:
1. Change their processes to match the software.
2. Use their software for billing and manage actual manufacturing with Excel or paper and pen.
It was then, stuck with a device too early for the market, that we realized the technology we’d built solved a much larger problem.
Every manufacturer is unique — even those creating the same product. And yet, the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems they used to manage their business tried to fit them all into one mold. On top of that, never-ending implementations and costly consultants made many manufacturers lose trust in the softwares that were supposed to make them more efficient and profitable. In other words, they didn’t put manufacturers first.
Our goal became clear: we needed to build a next-generation manufacturing management platform that is highly customizable, simple to use, and quick to deploy. As an organization, we need to fulfill technology’s promise of profitability and efficiency for manufacturers and provide them the tools to harness the increasingly digital future.
We are now actively working with manufacturers across several industries from packaging to automotive to medical. Our two products,IntakeandProduction, are significantly reducing lead times and increasing profitability for manufacturers of all sizes.
Manufacturers are inundated with different management tools and ERPs every day. Here are some features that make us unique and made for manufacturers:
Customize workflows to reflect your actual processes, no matter how complex. See the results in real-time.
Customize and control your production processes.
Configure workflows that capture the reality of your production processes, exactly how you want them to be, and track them in real-time from any connected device. A workflow can be as simple or as complex as you want, and takes seconds to configure.
Dashboards provide different views into your production floor, always up to date and telling you exactly what you and your team need to do.
Find the information you need when you need it.
Customize your dashboards to view orders by task, work-center, product type, status, technician, and more. Catch errors and bottlenecks in production as soon as they occur with real-time visibility.
Analytics report can tell you the true cost of making your product, technician efficiency and throughput, downtime in a production process, and more.
Understand your business in real-time.
FactoryFour continuously gathers information such as timestamps on completion, task-specific and technician-specific data, and presents it now, not at the end of the month. Generate reports to uncover new insights about your business, like understanding the true cost of making your product.
Interested in learning more about our products or want to chat with our team? Visit our websitehere.
CEO of FactoryFour