Too Many Service Bureaus

From: wayne l foss (
Date: Thu May 28 1998 - 17:13:30 EEST

To all,

I was also at the SME conference in Dearborn and attended Terrys
presentation. I remember his statement regarding too many service
bureaus, but came away with a different perspective than what has been
stated by others in the rp-ml. My memory may be a little off here, but I
think Terry also stated that there are over 400,000 manufacturing
companies in the U.S. of which he estimated, only 5,000 (?) REGULARLY
use RP services. Yes, I agree with Terry that there are too many service
bureaus out there -- because they are all chasing the same 5,000
companies!! I work for one of those companies and am contacted regularly
by service bureaus. My impression was that Terrys message was for the
service bureaus to go after that huge, untapped market and to stop
worrying about their toe hold on the existing market.

I have seriously looked at starting a service bureau myself (right - all
we need is another service bureau) and have come close to doing it. But,
I look at the competition and market and fall into the same trap as the
others by marketing myself to that same 5,000 companies. If I am to
succeed, I need to find a niche market to fill. I think that Norma Jean
and Pure Fluid Magic is an excellent example of that. I've gone through
the costs of setting up a small operation and have found that the only
way that I can compete against the established service bureaus is to
work for free and steal a modeler. My wife dosen't think that is a good
idea! Any suggestions?


- Wayne L. Foss                  
- Engineering Services                     Phone  319/295-2631
- Rapid Prototyping Specialist             FAX  319/295-5429
- MS 106-176
- Rockwell Collins, Inc.	 
- 400 Collins Road, NE             
- Cedar Rapids, IA  52498-3161
DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise indicated, this correspondence is personal
opinion and NOT an official statement of Rockwell Collins, Inc.

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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