Luke Smoothy: We Supply High-tech Businesses With Components for Satellites, Robotics, Nuclear Fusion and Quantum Computers

August 5, 2022

At Get It Made, we make bespoke manufacturing accessible, easy and fast. We supply high-tech businesses with components for satellites, robotics, nuclear fusion and quantum computers. We do this by working closely with our trusted, exclusive factories in the UK and China.

Tell us about yourself?

My background is in design and engineering; I could have been one of Get It Made’s clients. I spent a lot of my time making prototypes, the first sets of production for clients. I realised I was pretty good at it. I found a few great suppliers and, of course, many bad ones!

So one day, my old boss said he was going to retire, so I needed a side hustle; I thought, why not partner with these few great factories and help other people manufacture what they need.

So I did, and it quickly took off; after two years of working evenings and weekends, I quit my job and managed Get It Made full time. Seven years later, we are a multi-million-pound business and now an established player in the UK market.

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

To be honest, I would just say keep doing what you are doing, it is hard now, but it will pay off.

What problem does your business solve?

Manufacturing is hard, there are so many potential risks. Quality, delays, fraud, inconsistent pricing, bad communication and service. It is hard to compare like for like.

And you only know if you’ve made the wrong decision in working with a new supplier until it is too late and you have already handed over money. At Get It Made, we have designed the service I would have needed, something that is frictionless and just delivers what I need when I need it.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Typically, as most founders say, I created the service I knew was missing in the manufacturing industry. It was a service for engineers and designers working at hardware-based businesses that made their job easier and beat expectations.

What is your magic sauce?

Seven years ago, the manufacturing industry was a very different place. Most of our competitors weren’t around. Most are VC-backed and with money to burn. They are trying to grab as much market share as possible. For them to scale, they need to automate.

They are missing the highly personalised, bespoke level of service only we can offer. We intentionally pitch ourselves as human and not automated; this is our secret sauce. Every project and client is unique, and they want to know us personally.

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

I would like to, at a minimum double the size of our business in the next five years. It will then be a great, very manageable business that can mostly run itself.

We aren’t aiming to grow the biggest we can be, we have always grown in a very sustainable, organic way, simply by being good at what we do. We just want to keep that up. There is a chance we may franchise Get It Made to other geographies in the world.

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

The biggest challenge I am just about getting the hang of is handing over day-to-day operations. I ran Get It Made solo for many years; I knew in detail every part going through production and every contact that engaged with us.

But now I don’t, and I now realise the team we have here is very good at what they do, and I can let them manage what needs to be done. It is an eery feeling that is hard to get over.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We want to get to know people who are involved in design and engineering and have a need to get things made. We want a chance to show them what we are capable of.

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