Too Many Service Bureaus

From: Terry Wohlers (
Date: Thu May 28 1998 - 20:39:53 EEST

Wayne Foss wrote:

> 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

Thanks for sharing what you remember from the presentation. Your numbers
are those that I presented, so I appreciate your accuracy. And you're
right -- the market potential is quite large and we've really only begun to
tap it. Some of the current obstacles are cost, convenience, education,
and solid modeling. Costs are dropping, making RP more convenient for
some, and solid modeling is finally making the impact that some predicted
would occur years ago. As for education, there's not a lack of seminars,
workshops, and conferences, but many that attend are from the same 5,000
companies. Somehow, we need to reach the other 395,000 manufacturing
companies, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of companies outside
the U.S.

Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.

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