Additive Manufacturing or more commonly known as 3D printing, has been around for more than 20 years and has shown great manufacture potential the last couple of years across many industries. Irish company WAZP has been in the forefront of this emerging technology since 2014. WAZP is a global end-to-end supply chain for Additive Manufacturing offering on-demand, distributed and sustainable production across multiple industries, worldwide. In 2021, the company established its first Smart Factory and Center of Excellence for 3D Printing in County Kerry, Ireland, and continues to grow its distributed manufacturing footprint annually.
With over 18 years of experience in Research and Product Development for a number of top enterprises across Europe, Mariana Kobal, COO, together with her business partner Shane Hassett, CEO, founded and established WAZP. She is responsible for Strategy, R&D, Supply Chain, and Finance at WAZP and has a special interest in lean, sustainable and cost-effective models of managing the business. Mariana has implemented products with IKEA, NEXT, ARGOS, TESCO, STEINHOFF, and other major players on the market, as well as built international teams and introduced new technologies and methods for product development. Mariana speaks five languages and is extremely passionate about the innovations that are shaping everyday life.
“Working in the Product Development and Manufacturing Sectors it became clear that there was a need for a more flexible manufacturing approach and a quicker product development cycle. I felt that supply chains could be more agile, more responsive, and more sustainable. This inspired Shane and I to dive into finding a solution to enhance the supply chain, to utilize new technologies and processes and find a solution that would benefit the many.”, Mariana Kobal, COO WAZP
Why the Nordics?
The Nordic connections are strong. WAZP works with a variety of industries that benefit from their solution including homeware, consumer electronics, eyewear and more. Headquartered in Sweden, IKEA is WAZP’s first and longest major customer since 2015, where they have provided an end-to-end supply chain for 3D printed products. WAZP also has strong partnerships with manufacturing and technology suppliers in the region which are instrumental to their business.
“We were attracted to the Nordics region because of the high potential client and supplier concentration in the region, and the openness to innovation and continuous improvement. The region is always at the forefront of technological and design innovation so we knew the businesses would have a very open mind and a strong willingness to adopt new ideas and technologies. With these attributes, we knew WAZP would be an excellent fit for the Nordics.”, Mariana Kobal, COO WAZP
Omedelbar Hands, IKEA
Do More With Less
Innovation and sustainability are the basis of the WAZP business model. WAZP was established on taking advantage of new technologies and innovating in the areas of supply chain, design, manufacturing and finishing to offer clients a better solution. With sustainability being a core value and strategic goal, WAZP is the first company to use reused material in 3D Printing to produce end products. WAZP On-Demand 2022 is also enabling products being sold before manufacture, meaning only the required number of products are produced based on actual demand (actual sales), eliminating overproduction and obsolete stock.
The willingness of the Nordics to adopt new ideas and technologies has been the cornerstone for the company’s success in the region. Corporate Social Responsibility is of great importance to Nordic businesses and is the same for WAZP. This was an important driver for businesses choosing WAZP. The WAZP approach is very much about co-operation and building long-lasting partnerships when delivering projects. This co-operative approach is very high on the list of how Nordic companies do business, so this has helped them work together.
“We attribute our success to the openness of the clients and suppliers to innovation and building a more sustainable and resilient supply chain, as well as the valued support received by Enterprise Ireland.”, Mariana Kobal, COO WAZP
What does the future hold for WAZP?
WAZP aspires to build the largest repository of 3D printable content in the world. Having a strong presence within various industries in the Nordics already, WAZP will look to expand to existing and new industries in the region by helping them deliver their products and components, leveraging a sustainable and resilient supply chain. Expanding their manufacturing network will be another important element in providing Nordic businesses with access to the best distributed manufacturing footprint that allows them to access new market.
“Enterprise Ireland has understood the WAZP vision and business model from the get-go and have provided a variety of supports to the company which have been essential in us being where we are today. Their insights, time, and connections have been invaluable to WAZP in business development and strengthening our supply chain network. Through their generosity and active involvement and support, we are very confident that those resources will help WAZP to continue its growth in this region, and world-wide.”, Mariana Kobal, COO WAZP
Listen to Mariana Kobal on the Enterprise Ireland Nordic Ambition podcast, where she talks about who WAZP are, their Nordic journey, and their plans for the future.