Online quoting - some statistics from Materialise

From: Mark Bliek (
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 21:14:01 EET

Since the beginning of 1998, Materialise has been running an online Rapid
Prototyping service through its EPOS system (Electronic Parts Ordering
System). It is and has been a significant contributor to the growth of
Materialise, which now is one of the biggest Rapid Prototyping and Tooling
service bureaus in Europe.

Materialise is currently selling this on-line quoting solution worldwide to
other Rapid Prototyping service bureaus. As different companies will have
different needs to run an on-line quoting system, it can be customized, for
which a separate division within Materialise Software has been established.

Some numbers how online quoting effected the service bureau side of
Materialise from 1998 till the end of 2000:

830 registered companies
1.100 registered users
5.110 orders
8.738 parts

In 2001, Materialise supplied more than 7600 parts which were ordered

The quotes were all issued through the EPOS system, this in addition to
quotes which could not be handled by the system automatically because of
specific project requirements. The latter were handled off-line.

The numbers speak for themselves. The biggest benefit for Materialise was
the opportunity to grow, while limiting sales cost. Also, the quotes are
based on the STL files, which means that relevant parameters can be used to
calculate the quote accurately, instead of working on just the bounding box
dimensions. Because of accurate build time calculation, capacity planning
could be automated.

Benefits for the customer were an instantaneous, binding quote without the
need of being in contact with a person (the system works 24-hours-7
days/week). Also, as soon as a customer was online with the EPOS server, he
was notified about special offers, new materials, new machines and other
developments at Materialise. The client software is a free STL viewer,
through which he communicates with the EPOS server. The viewer can also be
used off-line.

As said at the beginning of this email, we now sell the solution and
interested parties can learn more at
Test driving a demo system can be done by downloading the client software
(7.25Mb) at

If you want to be contacted about an EPOS installation for your own
company, please look at for
a Materialise office close to you.

Mark Bliek
(860) 646-3948

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Tue Jan 21 2003 - 20:13:30 EET