When I started RAPID, I did all the quoting. Something I detested more than anything was leaving money on the table. At the same time, I also wanted to avoid getting burned because I missed something in the quote.
Initially, I was using Excel spreadsheets and quoting in an ERP system. I wasn’t able to automate a lot of things that came up over and over again, because those systems are not designed to facilitate things like pulling information out of a 3D CAD model and automatically plugging the numbers into a quote.
Over time at RAPID, we developed our own automated quoting system that saved tons of time, ensured more consistent pricing, and put guardrails in place so we could hire inexperienced estimators. I knew other shops experienced the pain points of estimating, but they weren’t going to hire a software developer to eliminate them.
Paperless Parts was founded in 2017 to bring the same types of estimating tools RAPID was using to other shops. Today, we’ve delivered on that goal. It’s a robust estimating tool that is super fast, provides flexibility when building out prices, and helps users truly understand the cost of a part.
I can’t think of anyone better to speak to the nitty gritty of pricing than Jeff Gorman. Jeff’s role at Paperless Parts involves daily conversations with dozens of customers, making their custom implementation of estimating and pricing even better by helping modify pricing formulas around their unique shop.
Jeff and I love to geek out on pricing together. That’s why we’re launching a mini-series on The Job Shop Show where we’ll do just that:
- What are the mechanics of pricing?
- What are topics customers are constantly asking Jeff about?
- How does he solve them with both template and custom formulas?
- What are some unique implementations of pricing that can’t be done with spreadsheets and ERP systems?
Throughout the series, we’ll dive deep into questions like these and talk a lot about “defensive” vs. “offensive” pricing (defensive pricing can be used to protect your business while offensive pricing propels it forward).
My hope is that by sharing these insights with American manufacturers, we help shop owners really understand the difference between costing and pricing and empower them to capture more value when they are quoting.
If you feel like you are always behind because you’re repeating the same tasks, leaving money on the table, or getting burned on parts, I hope you’ll give our first episode a listen.
Until next week, keep those spindles turning and those lasers cutting. Thanks for listening.
Ready to listen to episode 1 now?
The host of The Job Shop Show, Jay Jacobs has a passion for custom part manufacturing and has been immersed in the job shop community since 1987, buying his first 3D Printer in 1989. Jay has sold to job shops, worked for job shops, owned job shops and been a customer of job shops. As the former founder and owner of RAPID, he and his team grew from five to over three hundred strong while creating the world’s largest sheet metal prototype company. Jay co-founded Paperless Parts in 2017 to help custom manufacturers modernize their shops and better compete in the increasingly web-based manufacturing world.