Continuously new members from the plastics industry – Toolplace match and dealmaking platform picks up speed
The starting shot has been fired: at the K trade fair in October, “Toolplace”, a matchmaking platform for injection molders and toolmakers, officially went online after a start-up phase of around six months. Membership numbers are rising steadily, so that Toolplace can now boast around 70 “matches” in which injection molders and toolmakers have been brought together in a business relationship based on their respective needs or range of services.
“We are going full throttle,” says Christian Götze, the platform’s founder, in this regard. He is particularly positive about the trade fair participation at K: many interested parties visited the Toolplace stand. “Of these, only about ten percent came from companies we knew, the rest were new,” recalls the plastics technology engineer and business economist – a clear sign that the industry is not only vibrant, but also intensely interested in innovation.
Efficiency through digitalization, safety through certification
Toolplace digitizes the search for suppliers by suggesting suitable moldmakers to injection molders as partners based on individually configurable parameters such as technological know-how, component size, experience with injection molding materials, required certifications or even regionality. But the platform also offers advantages beyond the search for “ideal” suppliers: The automated project tendering and execution, for example, enables greater efficiency in the administrative process and thus reduces manual work in the procurement process. At the same time, Toolplace is intuitive for everyone to use: “We had an older gentleman at our booth who was rather reluctant to use such solutions at first, but in the end said ‘It’s so easy, even I can use it,'” reports Götze.
Toolplace relies on a certification process for its “partner brokerage.” All listed moldmakers are personally checked for their qualifications, so that injection molders can always be sure that the proposed suppliers are proficient in the desired technologies. “Discussions in the industry show that our customers place particular value on this validation – at Toolplace, AI and personal know-how come together,” Götze elaborates.
More flexibility, more business
With Toolplace, moldmakers generate reach and come into contact with new customers. Injection molders, in turn, get more planning security and also the opportunity to expand their view of the market by having comparison options suggested in addition to existing suppliers. “Those who rely only on their regular suppliers are dependent on their know-how and may therefore have to cancel potential orders,” explains Götze. “Toolplace makes flexible in this area by suggesting suitable moldmakers at short notice – injection molders can do more business accordingly and establish new technologies.”
In the meantime, Toolplace’s concept has also been able to convince investors, which Götze is particularly pleased about. But he is also inspired by the positive feedback from users: “We are currently gaining four new members every month – with a strong upward trend.” The entrepreneur therefore has no doubt that the business model will prove itself in the future: “It’s certainly worth taking a look beyond the DACH region and also at other production fields. In the long term, we still have a lot of plans here,” says Götze.