Could this desktop factory startup turbocharge Britain’s creative businesses?
The economic turndown resulting from Coronavirus is expected to have a devastating effect on SMEs, the extent of which will cost the UK's small and medium sized businesses an average of around £12,000, according to a survey which shows that two fifths of such firms are at risk of closing permanently. The research commissioned of 3,700 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by business insurer Simply Business showed that firms reckon the cost of lost work and earnings will come to £11,800. However, for some startups, outstanding innovation has provided for a springboard to survive such periods of economic turmoil.
The social distancing and closure of all non-essential businesses brought about by Coronavirus has led to 7 in 10 UK businesses being forced to furlough staff, whilst many companies have shuttered their R&D departments with workers unable to enter their offices and gain access to vital equipment and materials due to social distancing policies. As a result, the product development cycle of thousands of businesses has come screeching to a halt. These people who have found themselves on furlough, on extended leave or even out of employment, this period does present challenges for millions of people as well has the businesses trying to stay afloat through the COVID-19 lockdown.
While all non-essential businesses have been forced to cease trading amidst the pandemic, with some retail outlets beginning to open their doors for the first time in the coming days, the quarantine has represented an opportunity for artists to allow their creative juices to flow. With manufactured goods hard to come by too with disrupted supply chains, locally produced manufactured goods have soared in the last few months. Independent micro-SMEs have seen the demand for their produce increase, with Mayku's FormBox technology empowering maker's creativity of design and upscale their quantity.
The creators of the desktop factory Mayku believe that the lockdown represents an opportunity for a community of stifled creators and crafters to be inspired, and turn their focus once again towards the love of creation. Co-Founder and CEO of Mayku, Alex Smilansky, discusses the impact of Covid-19 on independent creators and the demand for manufacturing solutions.
“For many independent makers, these few months may prove to be some of the most pivotal in the history of their businesses. As many of their customers are cancelling orders and independent stores are shuttered amidst Coronavirus, makers are finding that demand, which has been steadily increasing for years, has suddenly dwindled.
There are many visible consequences of the pandemic affecting product development, as manufacturers and designers find themselves restricted from accessing the tools, materials and equipment necessary to create their products. Supply disruption, the closure of offices and buildings, and sheer manufacturing capacity are just some of the factors that businesses are currently having to contend with.
Furthermore, with the future market and customer demand unclear as a result of the ever-changing circumstances surrounding Coronavirus, priorities across R&D projects will also remain uncertain, preventing businesses from committing time and resources to new projects.
Mayku are working to help companies tackle these issues by offering industrial-grade design and manufacturing equipment at a fraction of the size and cost, allowing R&D professionals to rapidly prototype new designs and iterate new products locally using the FormBox, even away from the office. With a FormBox, R&D departments can work remotely, using the desktop technology to carry out precision, small batch production.
For people who have found themselves with a significant amount of time on their hands during this period, it can be seen as a time for creators to get back to their creative roots and immerse themselves in the design process. At Mayku, we are committed to helping crafters and independent artists to bring their ideas to life, and we believe that the lockdown represents a fantastic opportunity for artists to revel in their creative tendencies and develop incredible new products for their customers whilst in lockdown.”