New service connects the global robot market
New Paradigm for Buying Industrial Robots & Cobots
So, you want to buy an industrial robot or cobot, do’ya? Here’s a new way
“We want to make it easier and cheaper for businesses to have a robot,” —Søren Peters CEO of #HowToRobot
Like buying insurance, used cars or designer handbags, buying robots or cobots is going the way of e-commerce, with lots of variety, ease of use, transparency, and flair.
If you are a small to medium enterprise (SME), of which there are millions and millions worldwide, and you are anxious about or just thinking about automating some part of your operation with an industrial robot or cobot or two, then this new robotics shopping platform should be high on your radar.
Our Shop Wisely column, for the past two years, has been expressly geared to helping SMEs shop “wisely” for automation tech, but it now has a big, new friend from Copenhagen. Seems that the ever-enterprising Danes are at it again when it comes to all things robots. This time around they are helping would-be buyers of robotics tech to make it easier and cheaper to get their shops automated.
The Danish #HowToRobot group’s new platform, which it’s been building out for a year or so, including building a database of 15,000 vendors to service the platform’s users/customers, is now rolling out e-commerce for robotics.
What’s not to like?
From the chummy confines of your own cozy SME office, you can now go online and get scads of providers to quote you with prices on every aspect of robotics from robot units to parts to services to engineering help to consulting to training. As #HowToRobot puts it: It’s all “easy, fast and free.”
Don’t know what you’re looking for? How about this as a helper: The site starts you off with a Potential Finder. Yes, an automation potential finder. The site asks you: “Do you know where to find the biggest potential for automation in your company?” And then suggests: “Use the Potential Finder tool to get an overview of the best places to begin automation.” Then, just click the button, and your off hunting out potential throughout your company.
You can even create your own “Automation Roadmap” just like the mega-giant corporations do. Your “Automation Roadmap” lays out “the location where you want to map out all your possible automation projects.”
Find something of interest and want to know more? Okay, easy enough. Just fill out the request form for a provider quote that pulls from #HowToRobot’s database of 15,000+ vendors.
From a single request for, say, a cobot, you can field a dozen or more replies for your review and consideration from qualified vendors right in your own zip code.
The purpose, according to Søren Peters, CEO of #HowToRobot.com:
- “to make it easier and cheaper for businesses to have a robot.”
- “without several comparable offers on the table, customers can’t know where to get the most favorable price and terms.”
- “to make prices on the robot market transparent. This will help businesses save on procurement.”
Well, that’s got to be music to the ears of every robot tech buyer.
What next? Take a test drive on the #HowToRobot platform. It’s free! How can you possibly lose? The only thing you risk is your lead-gen info: You’ve targeted yourself as a potential buyer who is potentially interested in making a purchase.
Mercedes dealerships pay thousands for good leads. You need to decide if it’s worth the risk of your info. Actually, it’s about the same risk as tossing your business card into a fish bowl at a tradeshow booth.
Tell me once again how it works
We asked #HowToRobot for a quick thumbnail on how it all works. Providing us with answers was:
Elías Christian Lundström
Senior Robot Industry Specialist
Basically, our platform provides two points of entry for the end-user of robots:
#1. You are interested in automating a task in your company and need help (that’s what we call the “Automation Journey” on our platform).
#2. You already have a robot and want to “Get Quotes” on off-the-shelf components or services in the global marketplace.
To ask suppliers for offers on #1 is a more complicated task, involving an in-depth process description of the task to be automated. And it requires more work from the suppliers who have to spend time on customizing the answer for the customer with their solution.
#1. Sending out such a market request (“Automation Journey”) costs €200.
#2. To “Get Quotes” on any standard item from robots, to parts, to services is free.
How does #HowToRobot make money on its platform? We asked.
Again, Mr. Lundström:
About your question on where we make our money, the answer is like most similar platforms: Suppliers are paying a small monthly subscription fee for being a premium member and getting access to the customer requests and being able to answer them.
The win for the supplier is that the customer is coming directly to their doorstep, and the supplier can easily decide if they want to respond – it saves them a lot of time on sales.
If the customer decides to accept a quote and buy from the supplier, #HowToRobot charges a fee on the amount the supplier is paid.
Customers win by saving a lot of time and money on finding the right supplier and making sure they’re getting a fair price. We only win when the buyer and supplier wins.
Right supplier. Fair price.
Everyone is happy
OOOPS! HERE'S A FIRST FOR US,
From: Elías Christian Lundström (#HowToRobot)
“I noticed you mentioned the risk of revealing your info as a buyer. This is not correct – when you publish a request as a buyer, you have complete anonymity. As a buyer you’re in control of when and if you want to reveal your identity to a seller.”