Mar 8, 2024

The Reshape Manifesto

Make America Make Again. Helping manufacturers deploy robots that get sh*t done.

The Reshape Manifesto

Interview multiple candidates

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Search for the right experience

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Ask for past work examples & results

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Vet candidates & ask for past references before hiring

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Once you hire them, give them access for all tools & resources for success

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American factories should be booming. After years of reshoring trends fueled by supply chain snags, geopolitical instability and a global pandemic, we should be in the new golden age of manufacturing. But the reality is far from the expectation, and manufacturers all over the country are feeling the pain of an inescapable trend: we’re running out of people to keep the machines running and the lights on at American factories. This is a classic case of more jobs than hands, putting a potential damper on the manufacturing comeback story. There are currently 800,000 job openings in manufacturing. By 2030 the number is expected to reach 2 million1. We don’t have more time to waste.

“Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage. The easiest of all wastes and the hardest to correct is the waste of time, because wasted time does not litter the floor like wasted material.” Henry Ford

For decades, we've put our hopes in robotic automation to be the hero that manufacturing needs, solving our worker shortage. With only 30,000 robots2 rolling out annually to North American companies, the current adoption rate is barely a drop in a growing bucket. This shortfall in automation is putting our manufacturers in a tough spot, making it harder to compete, costing us business to other countries, and increasing the cost of goods right here at home. Put simply, we don’t sell and deploy enough robots in this country. There is no human contingency to the need to reshore manufacturing in the short term, and the stakes are high. We barely make the top 10 in terms of robot density,  and not fixing this problem will cost the US economy $1Trillion by 2030.

Annual report american robot orders

This is the problem that motivated the creation of Reshape. As much as we love robotics, our mission was born out of hate, not love. We hate going to factories and seeing them fighting for survival, running under capacity, degrading, not growing. Manufacturers are the unsung heroes that keep our Nation moving forward, and they are fighting an uphill battle with labor shortages. We owe it to them to put the latest advances in AI and other technologies to their service so that they can finally adopt automation as a low-risk and trustworthy ally to win that battle.

There is no easy route to address this problem and, as they say, it will take a village. Fortunately, the world of automation vendors and robotics technology is flourishing. When we look at the manufacturing ecosystem, we see an abundance of incredible technology, integrators that do magic in each deployment, taming the wildest of processes, robot and automation vendors making it easier than ever to program and deploy their devices, AI and machine vision breaking frontiers in problems that were just impossible a few years ago, like bin picking and safe autonomous navigation for robots inside factories. However, this abundance comes at a cost. The industry is highly fragmented, there are wall gardens across vendor ecosystems and multiple inefficiencies. We have become comfortable with slow growth, fighting for our part of the small pie, competing instead of working towards a common goal of abundance. It is time to index this industry! We need a holistic approach from discovery, design, purchase, deploy and support industrial automation systems at scale, removing all the inefficiencies along the way.

How will we know if we are successful? If we are successful, there won't be 30,000 robots deployed a year, but millions, creating a more resilient and dynamic American manufacturing industry.

This is the vision that drives Reshape Automation. We believe in a future where manufacturing isn't just surviving, it's thriving. Where automation isn't a distant dream, robots aren’t the future, but a tangible reality for every factory, regardless of its size. We understand that the path to this future isn't straightforward or easy, but it's necessary. And we're committed to walking this path alongside our manufacturing heroes, every step of the way.

Now, let's look ahead. The future we envision at Reshape is one where automation becomes a natural extension of every manufacturing process. A future where the American manufacturing sector is not just meeting demands but setting new standards of efficiency, innovation, and worker empowerment. We see a landscape where our solutions become integral tools in the arsenal of every manufacturing plant, helping them unlock their full potential. Our role goes beyond just providing technology; it's about being a partner in their journey towards excellence. Rising prosperity—a higher standard of living—can come only from productivity growth. We believe in a future where the output of human labor is decoupled from our productivity, where automation is the driving force in an era where America Makes again. Where we accelerate and build, build, and keep on building!

Rekindling US productivity for a new era

To make this future a reality, we commit to continuous innovation, customer-focused product development, and a true passion for solving the real challenges faced by manufacturers. Our journey is not just about robots or automation technology. It's about reshaping the very fabric of American manufacturing, making it more resilient, adaptable, and ready for the challenges of the future.

We believe automation needs to be easier to discover, design, deploy and support. While no-code tools and AI algorithms have certainly helped in decreasing the effort needed to deploy robot cells and even enable new use cases. There hasn’t been a fundamental technology paradigm that facilitated the discovery, design and support aspects of the equation. Generative AI changes that. In the past, technology has created divides, separating those who can use specific programming languages from those who cannot, and those with the resources to invest in proprietary applications from those who struggle to compete. CAD, robotics and automation expertise are not widely available across manufacturers. During the digital acceleration of 2020, digital capabilities contributed to a performance chasm—digitally forward manufacturers, with their own automation teams, experienced a boost, while digital laggards fell behind. Generative AI can close this gap. By removing barriers to insights and innovation, it empowers less automation mature organizations to automate faster, operate more efficiently, and enhance the value they deliver. It is the perfect enabler to eliminate the barriers of entry to automation. It is your mechanical designer copilot. Your automation guru in a click. Your support technician, available 24/7.

Today we are presenting the fruits of our work at Reshape, created over the last months, but gestated over a more than decade of experience in addressing manufacturing needs. Today we are unveiling, for a selected number of customers at first in a preview launch,  the Reshape's Platform. The Reshape Platform guides manufacturers through a curated marketplace of top automation brands, products, and turnkey solutions, eliminating the need for extensive research and vendor vetting. AI agents are readily available to address questions and provide guidance, making the automation process quick, simple and efficient. Complementing the catalog of solutions, Reshape and its network of integration partners offer a range of comprehensive integration services, allowing manufacturers to choose the right level of assistance in deploying the robotic solution based on their needs and budget. From DIY projects to fully managed experiences, the platform facilitates seamless communication, information exchange, and project management, streamlining the automation process from start to finish. With the Reshape Platform, manufacturers can expect clear communication of their automation needs and upfront estimates of costs and deployment times. This approach addresses the industry's need for efficient vendor-manufacturer communication and the elimination of trial-and-error methods in selecting the right system integrator. And we are just starting.

We thank our investors for trusting our vision, our incredible partners for empowering our mission, and the multiple manufacturers that have shared their needs and pains with us, and for whom we exist.

Join us in this journey to build a stronger, more resilient manufacturing sector for our country. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work. Together, we can make this new golden age of manufacturing a reality.