Careers at Materialise
Materialise’s mission is to innovate product development that results in a better and healthier world, through its software and hardware infrastructure and an in-depth knowledge of additive manufacturing.
Materialise is a provider of software solutions and additive manufacturing services. The firm operates three reportable business segments:
- Materialise Software – Provides proprietary software through programs and platforms that enable and enhance the functionality of 3D printers and 3D printing operations.
- Materialise Medical - Provides product and services that address long-term trends in the medical industry towards personalized, functional, and evidence-based medicine.
- Materialise Manufacturing - Provides 3D printing services to industrial and commercial customers, the majority of which are located in Europe, as well as certain specialty growth markets.
Wilfried Vancraen was an engineer who wanted to explore new uses for 3D printing. So in 1990 he founded Materialise in the UK, as a spin-off of KU Leuven. The company offered prototyping services, and was the first Rapid Prototyping Service Bureau in the Benelux region. Over the next few years it conducted research and development of software solutions that could transfer data to 3D printers.
In 1991 Materialise unveiled a medical software product called Mimics, followed by an industrial software solution called Magics in 1992. In 2000 it developed Mammoth Stereolithography in order to build single-piece Stereolithography models with dimensions of more than two meters. The largest Mammoth machine had a build area of 2100 x 700 x 800 mm.
In 2012, based on the promise of its offerings, Materialise raised €5 million in private equity funding. In 2014 it acquired OrthoView and e-prototypy, and completed an initial public offering, becoming listed on the NASDAQ. The company now has offices on five continents, multiple software development centers, and offers a range of additive manufacturing services and solutions.
Business model of Materialise
Materialise has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer groups. The company targets its offerings at organizations of all industries and sizes.
Materialise offers four primary value propositions: accessibility, performance, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. Its solutions have a broad range of applications, with uses in the aerospace, aerospace, art, cardiovascular, consumables, consumer electronics, cranio-maxillofacial, fashion, jewelry, and orthopaedic industries.
The company demonstrates strong performance through tangible results. Specific positive outcomes for clients include the following:
- GE Aviation used Materialise’s solutions to reduce the weight of its aerospace parts by 37%
- SL Corporation used Materialise’s solutions to reduce the weight of its jigs by 40% and lower their lead times by 10%
- Atos used Materialise’s solutions to reduce the mass of its inserts from 1,454 grams to 500 grams
- Primo Toys used Materialise’s solutions to reduce its parts assembly time by 25% and reduce the cost of parts by 20%
- Titan Company used Materialise’s solutions to reduce the turnaround time from design to product development as well as lead time
The company reduces risk by maintaining high quality and safety standards. It maintains ISO 14001, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN9100, and EASA Part 21G certifications.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It claims to have the largest 3D printing facilities in the world and the largest group of software developers in the industry. It has also won a number of honors, including the following:
- RTAM/SME Industry Achievement Award
- Innovation by Design Award for the GO Wheelchair by Layer
- Silmo d'Or Award for SEIKO Xchanger
- ISPO Award for Phits Insoles
- Henry van de Velde Company Award
- Several Trends Gazellen awards
- MAD Visionaries! Award
Materialise’s main channel is its direct sales team. It also conducts sales through third-party distributors such as local dealers and original equipment manufacturers. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, expos, summits, and conferences.
Materialise’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
- Support Services – The company offers a complementary Software Maintenance Package for the first 12 months following a purchase. The package provides customers with the latest versions of its software, technical support from its customer service engineers, and the ability to switch hardware at no additional cost. After those 12 months, there is a charge to continue the service.
- Training Services – The company offers training sessions at professional training centers and at clients’ facilities. The sessions include hands-on exercises and real-world projects.
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company’s website features a “Resources“ section that includes iinstruction manuals, brochures, license agreements, presentations, and videos. The site also provides answers to frequently asked questions.
Materialise’s business model entails designing and developing its products and delivering related services to its customers.
Materialise’s key partners are the third-party distributors that help promote and sell its products and the suppliers that provide it with the equipment and materials it needs to produce its products.
Materialise’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineering employees that design and develop its products and services, the sales employees that promote them, the training employees that provide instruction, and the customer service personnel that provide support.
It maintains important physical resources in the form of its more than 140 industrial 3D printers, with manufacturing centers in Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
Lastly, it places a high priority on intellectual property, with 97 issued patents and 166 pending patent applications in the United States, Japan, and the European Union.
Materialise has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent service enhancements. Its biggest cost driver is cost of sales, a variable expense.
Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing, research/development, and administration, all fixed costs.
Materialise has two revenue streams: revenues it generates from the sale of its products and revenues it generates from the sale of its services.
info: Wilfried earned a Master of Science degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering and an MBA at KULeuven. He previously served as a Research Engineer and Consultant at the Research Institute of the Belgian Metalworking Industry.
info: Peter earned an LL.M. at the University of Georgia and a degree in Philosophy at the K.V.L. Campus Kortryk. He previously served as a Partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP and as co-head of its Brussels office’s corporate finance practice group.
info: Johan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at HU Brussels University and a postgraduate degree in Corporate Finance at KU Leuven University. He previously worked at Pizzaland Benelux and Applied Data Research.
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