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Artificial Intelligence in Paperless Parts

Published: February 12, 2024

Paperless Parts has transformed how custom part manufacturers evaluate, quote, and win new work. With artificial intelligence technologies maturing, we are excited to embrace these tools to automate some of the repetitive, time-consuming, and error-prone tasks that shops need to perform as part of every quote. By embracing these technologies to automate administrative tasks and quickly surface objective information, we believe we will enable our customers to simplify their workflows and build more consistent processes, empower their employees to be more productive and improve profitability by driving clarity on what to quote and when.

AI Guiding Principles

Paperless Parts values our customers’ trust above all else. As such, we have adopted a set of guiding principles to ensure we continue to inspire confidence in our solution:

Security & Compliance: Following FedRAMP and NIST standards as a guide, we have implemented and maintain strict controls throughout our organization, computing infrastructure, and application. Customer data resides in US-based, government-authorized data centers only. These controls apply to the AI features in our application and the R&D processes we use to develop and train AI models.

We do not send customer data to any non-compliant 3rd party AI tools or systems.

Use of Customer Data: P3L, custom pricing formulas, and customer data will never be shared with third parties or other customers or used to train algorithms to serve other customers. Technical data such as prints may be used to train our AI models, but not data, pricing algorithms, or information on how shops estimate a part’s cost.

Transparency & Human Review: Our AI features assist users in quoting by suggesting values or actions. The application makes it clear when there is a suggestion being offered, and makes it easy for the user to accept or decline the action. In short, AI makes suggestions, while humans make decisions.

Testing & Continuous Improvement: We have a rigorous process for testing AI features. Before adding a feature to the application, we develop benchmarks and meticulously measure performance. We continuously collect feedback from our users about how the features perform and iterate and improve based on that feedback.

FAQs:

What is Assistance by Paperless Parts?

Assistance is a collection of AI-supported automation and shortcuts within Paperless Parts designed to help estimators quote faster and avoid mistakes that come with rote, repetitive tasks. Assistance provides auto-fill suggestions of objective, technical information from RFQs and prints to enable estimators to make more informed decisions about their approach to manufacturing a part. Estimators can then get to what they do best faster: leveraging their expertise. The presence of a purple graphic denotes Paperless Parts’ Assistance is offering a suggestion or recommending an action.

Refer to our Knowledge Base article to learn more about Assistance or view up-to-date, specific examples of AI-supported automation currently available in the platform.

What type of data do you use to train your models?

Paperless Parts’ AI models are trained using the technical data contained within an RFQ package, such as prints, emails, and other attached documents. Importantly, we do not use any information about how our customers cost parts, what they employ as pricing strategies, or any custom P3L in any way. Our models focus on identifying the critical, easy-to-miss details within prints and other RFQ documents vital to setting up your quote and conducting your costing steps.

Who has access to my data?

The security of your information is paramount, and we develop and deploy all of our models within our FedRAMP boundary and in a CMMC, NIST, and FedRAMP Moderate-compliant manner. Your data may be used to help train or validate AI models in ways permitted by our general terms and cybersecurity policies; however, Paperless Parts has strict data controls in place that ensure that your data is not shared with other customers or anyone other than authorized Paperless Parts team members, all of whom are US Persons.

How accurate are your AI models?

We measure and validate the accuracy of every AI model within our platform. Based on user feedback on AI-powered suggestions, we continue to improve the accuracy of our models. We do not guarantee the accuracy of suggestions due to the inherent limits of AI and stress the importance of human review of AI suggestions.

Paperless Parts uses industry-standard Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to generate our AI-powered suggestions, which can extract text from most PDFs of reasonable quality. The accuracy of AI suggestions will depend on the print quality—it will not work well on hand-written or poor-quality PDFs.

 

For additional questions on the use of AI within Paperless Parts, please contact [email protected].