Irma Gilbert: Our Mission Is To Transform Supply Chains, Reduce Carbon Emissions And Build a Sustainable Future

August 24, 2022

Our Mission is to Transform supply chains, reduce carbon emissions and build a sustainable future.
Our Values

  • Being genuine – we do what we say we do. We are authentic.
  • Being change-makers – we are driven to make a difference to the spare parts sector, worldwide.
  • Being socially responsible – we are striving for an eco-friendly business model and a sustainable future. We care about diversity and inclusion.
  • Being compassionate – we are caring, supportive and trustworthy with everyone we work with; staff, customers, suppliers and partners.
  • Being the best – if we’re going to do something, we strive to do it better than the rest.

Tell us about yourself?

I have a Master in Business Management and Phd in Marketing and sales and over 30 years of experience in International manufacturing.

5 years agowas on a business trip to Angola where I had this big idea to create a digital platform to download car parts, similar to the music or video streaming services.

I saw a transformational opportunity to create a marketplace where engineers could sell their designs for parts and components, which could then be licenced and downloaded by customers anywhere in the world for additive manufacture.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I would learn computer engineering to understand code, I lost a lot of time working with developers who do not had the skill in this innovative technologies.

Today I have my son as digital consultant recruiting the DevOps and we now have a great team

What problem does your business solve?

One-fifth of the world’s carbon emissions come from the manufacturing and production sectors which still rely on a traditional supply chain steeped in inefficiencies such long lead times, high transport costs and a complex distribution network.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing — the process of building an object one layer at a time based on a digital file — is revolutionising this old approach by enabling goods to be ‘made’ more locally to the customer, reducing the material used and the need for transportation.

The big problem is that the existing IT systems cannot handle digital parts. The existing order-delivery systems from additive manufacturing networks are complex and time consuming, you have to upload your 3d models , choose materials , select a printer and get a quote.

Or if you are sourcing from an independent 3d printing service providers you have to send an e-mail , use a USB or Dropbox , in the end you spent 25 hours in administrative costs and 28 days lead time average.

Look at sites like “Thingverse” you can see how many times a file has been downloaded, but you have no idea how many times the part has been printed or if its being sold without your permission
Autentica Digital supply chain solutions for 3D printing and spare parts can reduce the lead time of order-delivery a 3D print jobs from 25 days to 24 hours by automating order-delivery part flow.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The inspiration behind the business comes from the time I was working in Africa we always had the same problem if your car broken down you need to buy a part:

  • “Parts take too long to arrive”
  • “Discontinued parts are just so expensive”
  • “How do I know if this is a genuine part”
  • “The cost of transportation and the resulting negative impact on the environment is horrific”
  • “Where should I go to buy spare parts”

What is your magic sauce?

What makes us different?

Speed of delivery

The network of 3D printers will be all over the country (in time all over the world) so they can print to order and then deliver locally. This will reduce delivery times as parts delivery will not be dependent on giant OEMs. This also makes for a greener and more sustainable supply chain.

Efficiency

Garages will not need to hold stocks of spare parts, but can order them on-demand and receive them quickly and on a just-in-time basis.

Genuine

Parts will be designed and certified.

Pricing

Competitive pricing (though might be higher in some cases?) plus lower cost for parts that are no longer manufactured via traditional routes

Availability

Parts are available that are hard to find via traditional routes

Security

Genuine parts, ordered, designed, printed and delivered with a secure blockchain printing audit trail system

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

As a company we are still in our initial phase, our objectives are moving forward with OEMs that are fairly advanced in their 3D printing journey.

But we also want to enable AM for companies who are new in this field and scale up business across the globe.

As a digital supply chain platform, we expect strong exponential growth, partly because our current customers can extend our services for a wider part range, and partly because new companies will start leveraging our solution.

We know that currently, around 10% of all spare parts are 3D printable, and our goal is to supply the highest proportion of that.

If companies move to our digital e-commerce marketplace to distribute their 3D printing license and use our 3D printing services network for on-demand 3D printing, a major cost improvement can be achieved and sustainability can increase significantly.

But to achieve this, and indeed for AM to fulfill its true potential, a rethinking of current supply chains is needed.

As it stands, 3D printing is to some extent still limited to “yesterday’s” designs. In the future, parts will be constructed for 3D printing, reducing costs, and optimizing the topology and weight of a part.

The 3D printing industry still has to show these advantages to the rest of the world, who, to a large extent has yet to properly consider the technology as a viable solution to their design and manufacturing needs.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced was to create a complete new business model from scratch, no one done this before I am learning every day, the other is to find an Investor all of them told me I will give you £2 million when you have £5million revenue, so I need now to further develop the technology convince the OEMs to change their way of manufacturing products .

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We want Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to start collaborating with us and become a vendor of 3D printing licenses on our marketplace

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