Answers to the most frequently asked questions about FlexFactory and Production as a Service.
What is Production as a Service? Production as a Service (PaaS) in a nutshell: A highly flexible factory, owned by external investors and shared by multiple users.
What is the difference between Contract Manufacturing and Production as a Service? The main difference between Contract Manufacturing (CM) & Production as a Service (PaaS) from a production point of view is, that in a PaaS setting, one highly flexible production setup producing for multiple customers is used instead of multiple lines per customer as in the case of CM. Accordingly, from a financial point of view, due to the flexible production setup, the customer is not required to make any major upfront investments to set up its specific line. More on that topic on our blog:
Are there any real-life examples for Production as a Service? Production as a Service has already been implemented: The KUKA Toledo Production Operation and the Smart Press Shop from Schuler and Porsche are real-life examples. We have great connections to both cases.
Who is a potential Asset User (customer of Production as a Service)? FlexFactory’s offering is especially relevant for corporations, SMEs, and grown-up startups with an asset heavy production. Further, it is applicable for rather small production volumes and production technology with ability for rapid changeovers.
Who is the operator in a Production as a Service setup? There is no "one-fits-all" Production as a Service setup. Thus, the operation is heavily dependent on the project and interest of its stakeholders. In sum, the Asset User, the Asset Producer or an external operator can be considered as potential operators for a PaaS production.
Who are the investors in a Production as a Service setup? The investor’s market for as-a-Service models is developing alongside our initial projects. We experience the highest interest in such investments by investors endeavoring to grow their risk appetite from traditional leasing activities to venture leasing to as a Service models. FlexFactory enables market participants with a risk-return profile between infrastructure and venture capital investments to invest into Production as a Service models.
What is the role of FlexFactory in a Production as a Service setup? FlexFactory connects the most important stakeholders - Asset Producer, Asset User, Operator, and Investor - in order to implement a PaaS factory. From start to implementation, it analyses the status quo of potential customers, designs the project plan, and builds the necessary business model around an optimized production and financing. Pending on the interest of the involved parties, FlexFactory can also work on the profitability of the PaaS set-up by conducting business development to increase the factories' utilization.