American Machinist

Website helps a virtual company make a real product.(Case books)

TUCKER MARION AND MARVIN WEINBERGER LAUNCHED the Innovation Factory with the goal of creating interesting, highly functional consumer products. Central to their mission was to remain a virtual corporation--outsourcing and collaboration on designing, toolmaking, plastic-injection molding, product assembly, packaging, inventory, and shipping. When it came time to find and source the company's first product, an ice scraper called IceDozer, to a manufacturer, Innovation posted an RFQ on to locate an injection molding shop.

The site is an interactive web service enabling manufacturers to buy and sell custom manufacturing services. Buyers post RFQs at no cost, and suppliers quote for business that meets their expertise and capacity. …

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