When I attended the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in 2018, it was the largest captive audience of people eager to learn about the latest in manufacturing. The coolest new machines generated a ton of buzz, but there was an entire building dedicated to cutting edge software solutions – ERPs, MRPs, and everything in between. What I didn’t see, however, were any purpose-built job shop quoting software platforms like Paperless Parts.
IMTS is the Super Bowl of trade shows; not only is it the largest manufacturing trade show in the Western Hemisphere, but it’s one of the largest trade shows in the world:
- They regularly attract close to 100,000 attendees
- Over 2,500 companies exhibit on the show floor
- The McCormick center holds a staggering 1.4 million net square feet of exhibit space
As I walked through multiple pavilions geared toward specific verticals like CNC machining, additive manufacturing and fabrication, I couldn’t help but imagine the excitement I’d feel exhibiting with the Paperless Parts team to show off our job shop quoting software one day.
Paperless Parts Quoting Software Makes its IMTS Debut
Since that week in 2018, Paperless Parts has grown in too many ways to count – not only has our headcount increased almost 20x, but we are supporting over 50x the number of job shops. Our platform has also evolved tremendously based on the evolving needs of our customers (and a lot has changed in the world over the past few years).
It was no question that we would be showing up in full force at IMTS 2022. 16 people strong, our “orange army” touched down in Chicago full of excitement and curiosity. We had so many favorite parts of the show, but to name a few:
Meeting our customers in person.
We had the pleasure of meeting with multiple Paperless Parts customers over the course of the week. We are relationship driven at our core, and getting to spend time with the people that make our company as great as it is was priceless. It also led to some pretty insightful conversations about how we can improve our product – we’re constantly gathering customer feedback, but something about letting them drive and present their ideas to you while you’re standing side by side makes you realize how strong your partnerships really are.
Opening people’s eyes to new possibilities.
We met with so many wonderful people who worked at shops that were looking to grow revenue, standardize their quoting processes, and do more with fewer resources. When asking many people how they would rate their quoting process on a scale from 1-10, we rarely got a response over 5. Once we showed them that Paperless Parts was a quoting software designed specifically for job shops, the look of awe on people’s faces made it all worth it. All day long, right before our eyes, we got to watch people start to imagine a better life for themselves and their fellow employees.
Turning skeptics into believers.
Out of the 500+ prospects we interacted with at IMTS, there were a handful of people who had previously seen a demo of our quoting software and didn’t think it was worth their investment. After showing them how far the platform has come, nearly everyone who started out skeptical left the booth feeling more confident than ever that we could deliver.
Some new, key features that generated excitement:
- Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) on Model-Based Definition files (MBD) in the Part Viewer.
- Individual face colors. Viewing face colors in the Viewer allows estimators to quickly identify these nuances and price their quotes accordingly.
- Support for etching. While Paperless Parts has identified etched surfaces in the past, new functionality collects them into a separate feature class in the geometric features panel of the Viewer. This allows estimators to quickly view and interact with these etchings versus sifting through sets of features to find them.
- Faster file interrogation. Our milling and lathe file interrogation engine is now on average 25% faster.
- Centralized viewing and search for related email and Microsoft Office files. Our users can now save and view all related documents directly in the Viewer.
- Automated file redaction. This allows users to quickly and seamlessly redact sensitive information from their files so they can avoid the dreaded sticky note and scanner saga.
- Our new Build-A-Quote page. This update delivered significant performance improvements for shops that quote very large quote packages.
- Seamless ERP integration. Paperless Parts has bidirectional integration with leading ERPs to put an end to double data entry and further shorten the quote-to-order process.
Of course, these awesome features would have fallen on deaf ears had it not been for our incredibly talented team of product experts who know Paperless Parts like the back of their hand and demonstrated it in a digestible and exciting way.
McCormick Place hosts IMTS every even year, meaning the next show will take place in 2024. We’ve already begun planning to blow this year’s show out of the water.
Didn’t get a chance to see our job shop quoting software in action at IMTS? It’s not too late!