At Paperless Parts, we’ve watched 100s of quotes get engineered using a variety of different methods. In Parts 1 and 2, we highlighted the common issues in the quoting process. In the final part of this series, we are going to talk about how the Paperless Platform streamlines this process while saving you from common missteps and added admin costs.
Step 1: Customer creates an RFQ with the Smart RFQ Form™
The first step in this process begins with our Smart RFQ Form™. Customers are able to seamlessly upload parts to an ITAR secure iframe on the shop’s website. Using the Smart RFQ Form™ reduces the overhead of back and forth communication with the customer early in the quoting process. When a customer receives several quotes from shops, they pick the most complete quote. If you happen to have a better price, but missed critical aspects of the quote, customers lose confidence in your shop. By using the Smart RFQ Form™, your shop can gather all the information necessary upfront.
Step 2: Automatically Save and Reference Customer Information
After submitting the Smart RFQ Form™, new customers are immediately added to the shop’s database for future reference. This is important because you can use this contact for future marketing efforts. Even if you do not win the job, you can engage with the customer so that they will think about you for future projects. Repeat customers with all associated analytics and notes are pulled in from your customer database and added to the quote. This makes sure every estimator has all of the necessary information at their fingertips.
Note: you should be using your contact list like a machine on your floor. If you are not using it through marketing efforts, you are underutilizing an asset. Learn how you can jumpstart your email marketing here.
Step 3: Automatically Drafted Quote from RFQ
With the Paperless Platform, the quote automatically gets drafted after the customer submits the RFQ. This removes the administrative step of setting up the quote in the ERP or accounting system. The Paperless Platform processes the files and stores them on our ITAR compliant servers. This eliminates the extra step of downloading the part files and storing them on a local hard drive. Additionally, this data is searchable in case you have to quote the same or similar parts in the future.
These admin steps take 15 minutes per quote when done manually. At 20 quotes per week, this results in 5 hours of time savings. What could you do with an extra 5 hours each week? That is time you can spend quoting and winning more work.
Step 4: Analyzing Geometry for Pricing
While the quote is being drafted, Paperless Parts is analyzing every part file that the customer provided. After the part files get analyzed, Paperless uses the part attributes detected in the solid models and on the prints to complete the variables in the shop customized pricing formula. The pricing formulas can account for your internal processes as well as external processes like plating and finishing. The platform will even suggest similar parts you can use as a reference based on what you previously quoted. Instead of opening your CAD system to look at parts, use the Paperless Parts Viewer to dig into the geometry. Additionally, the platform provides material pricing recommendations based on the geometry and quantities of the parts being produced.
Step 5: Sending the Quote
When ready, sending the quote is very easy. Using Paperless, a Digital Quote is sent via email to your customers. You can even provide expedite options that let your customer get their parts sooner at a higher price point.
Step 6: Actionable Insights After Sending the Quote
The Paperless Platform lets you know when customers view your quote. This lets you know when to resend quotes or follow up with your customer to help your shop win the job.
These are some of the ways that the Paperless Platform streamlines the quoting process for your shop.
Come see the new, powerful way to quote in job shop manufacturing.
This article was written by Jason Ray
Jason Ray is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Paperless Parts. Jason drives the company’s product vision, while building relationships with manufacturers and partners. Before Paperless, he served as an officer in the US Navy and led the implementation of additive manufacturing technology. Jason holds a BA (Trinity) and MBA (Babson).