Earlier this month, we hosted Paperless Parts’ first-ever user conference: POWER 2023. It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing so many of our customers, partners, employees, and industry experts in the same room; as co-founder and CEO, I can tell you that this was truly a dream come true.
Since we started Paperless Parts in 2017, we’ve been committed to building strong relationships with our customers so we could collaborate and learn from them to build a product that truly solves their problems. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know them, their teammates, and their families. We have shared in their successes and their challenges.
POWER East was a testament to the power of collaboration and community. It was a reminder of why we do what we do every day at Paperless Parts.
Our Key Takeaways
The most valuable thing our customers have is time, and since our participants entrusted us with a full day and a half, we hope they walked away with these key takeaways:
Takeaway #1: It’s time to put the hammer down.
Our theme for the conference was “Driving Your Business in 5th Gear.” If you are a Paperless Parts customer, you bought the Ferrari of quoting platforms; and if you’re only using a Ferrari to drive to the grocery store on Sunday, you haven’t yet experienced its power. It’s time to take it out on the highway and see what it can really do.
Throughout the day-and-a-half-long event, we highlighted the outsized value that customers who become Power Users get: Customers like KAD Models, who have earned over $230K in revenue through expedites alone, and Progressive Metal Manufacturing Company, whose team saves over 90 miles a day of driving by leveraging Paperless Parts’ digital collaboration tools. We also had a chance to hear directly from customers like Jim Fitch at Nu-Way Industries, who showed the audience how he’s written more than 6,000 lines of P3L (the Paperless Parts coding language) to customize his deployment and fine-tune his quoting engine, and Justin Quinn from Focused on Machining, who not only embraces Paperless Parts’ quoting software, but has partnered with our Marketing Solutions team to help grow his business by >300% over the last four years.
Takeaway #2: CMMC mandates are coming (and even if they weren’t, it’s on you to protect your customers’ data).
Paperless Parts Co-founder and CTO Scott Sawyer led a session on Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance and cybersecurity. While it’s a topic we’ve covered in depth, this was a great opportunity to sit face-to-face with our customers and really unpack what it means for their businesses.
Bottom line: whether you’re dealing with CUI data or not, job shops need to build a strong wall of defense. Your customers are depending on you to protect their IP, and whether their competitors are foreign or domestic, it’s on you to keep their data safe. And think about it—if you’re a cyber criminal, are you more likely to try to hack your way into the big OEMs who spend literally millions of dollars on IT and cybersecurity, or target more vulnerable points of attack further down the supply chain?
If you are making parts for DoD, the best time to get serious about CMMC was 1-2 years ago; the second-best time is right now.
Learn about how (and why) Paperless Parts has invested millions of dollars to protect your data.
Takeaway #3: Data-driven decisions = greater profitability.
While topics spanned a variety of points along the quote-to-cash lifecycle, most of the sessions shared a common message: if you want to be more profitable, start by looking at your data.
Eyes popped and hands flew into the air when Paperless Parts Customer Success Manager Jeff Gorman showed how shops can build custom dashboards and reports within the platform. We know from our user analytics data that the vast majority of shops are under-utilizing this treasure trove of information that can be harnessed to fine tune their processes and bolster their bottom lines. Customers throughout the day shared their strategies for finding their “sweet spot” of quotes to focus on, driving up their win rate and optimizing their capacity.
Want to see how our Advanced Analytics works? Check out this quick on-demand demo from Jeff.
What’s on the Horizon for Paperless Parts?
Another reason we get so excited about these types of events is because it gives us a chance to share with our customers not just what we’ve done, but where we are going. Our head of Product, Beau Blinder, took attendees through our roadmap for 2023, and there’s intentionally a recurring theme across everything we’ve mapped out: quote the right work, faster.
We’ve got a lot planned for how to extract, define, and organize your quoting data to achieve that goal. And while we generally avoid writing about specific future features (lawyers and accountants tell us not to do that), know that the roadmap is filled with exciting enhancements that will enable our users to do things like streamline the quote set-up process, and quote with greater speed, efficiency and accuracy from prints. Based on the fact that our session on quoting from PDFs was so full we had to run an impromptu encore session, we anticipate these future enhancements to be very well-received.
Want to join us at our next user conference? Secure your spot today.
One of the most well-received sessions was delivered by our VP of e-Commerce, Ken Cowan. Our e-Commerce strategy is still in its early days, but let’s just say there was applause and a few attempted bribes to get into some of our upcoming pilot work that will help alleviate some of the most acute pain points associated with quoting and purchasing. Stay tuned for more details on that front.
Missed Power East? Don’t Worry…
We’re doubling down on our customer enablement and training efforts in the months ahead. We heard loud and clear the strong desire for an online user forum and more in-person events. And of course, you can always register today to reserve your spot at POWER West.
We can’t overstate how grateful we are to everyone that traveled far and wide to join us for POWER East. Your enthusiasm, feedback, and support were off the charts. We sincerely appreciate each and every one of you for making this event so memorable, and hope to see you all back again next year.