I have been working at Paperless Parts full-time for six months now. I focus most of my time on building our Customer Success team and process. It’s a fascinating, exciting, and relentlessly fulfilling job. The company has more than doubled in size since last summer, and it has been wonderful to see new faces join our mission and thrive. Perhaps my favorite part about this growth is that each new team member has reinforced our core principles – intentionality in everything we do, grit in the pursuit of excellence, and curiosity with a bias to action – in their own unique way. This has only further affirmed my belief in this company and our mission.
I learned about Paperless Parts after an adventurous summer internship at a small start-up in Seattle. Dana Wensberg, one of my closest friends and now Head of Geometry at Paperless, had just finished up his summer internship at Paperless Parts and would not stop raving about the company’s mission and team. After some prodding, I persuaded Dana to connect me to the company’s CEO, Jason Ray. I didn’t know anything about the company or the manufacturing industry beyond what Dana had told me. Fortunately, I was able to interview and secure an internship for the following summer along with two other Trinity students.
Interning at Paperless Parts gave me a breadth of experience I would not have otherwise experienced. I worked with Jason to help the company in any capacity required. As we were a young company, there was a tremendous amount of intrapreneurship; in other words, figure it out. It was amazing. We were willing to do anything to help make our customers successful. Have a problem? We’ll solve it! Calls at 11:00 p.m.? We’re still up! I was hooked right away. My first project was to write a ‘State of the Industry’ report on manufacturing, with a particular focus on different existing quoting solutions. There seemed to be some interesting ideas in the market, but none that were intensely focused on solving job shop manufacturers’ business challenges. Job shops are some of the most creative, talented, and hard-working businesses in the world. They espouse the entrepreneurial mindset and are critical to the manufacturing industry; the commercial backbone of this country. The solutions we researched appeared to be more focused on enabling buyers, rather than helping these job shops. Our team found these efforts to miss the point entirely. Our conclusion was clear – there was an enormous opportunity to tackle real challenges in job shops across the country, particularly in the quoting process, and no one was doing it right.
We spent the rest of the summer and many months after conducting a listening tour. We needed to hear and understand the actual challenges our customers faced in order to properly build their solutions. This exercise produced Paperless Parts today – the revolutionary manufacturing platform which empowers everyone in a job shop to communicate better, quote faster, win new customers, and increase revenue. I am very proud that our team is deeply committed to our customers. Many of the great business leaders I’ve read about cite customer-obsession as the most important attribute in building great products; Steve Jobs (Apple), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) to name a few of my favorites. This principle is deeply ingrained in our culture and is the reason why I believe we and our customers will win.
It is a privilege to work with this team, with our customers, and pursue this mission. The rocket ship is about to take off, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be on board. Here’s to 2020!
— Ben Barton, Customer Success Manager
P.S. Manufacturing is sexy. There is something intoxicating about a slab of metal being shredded away to produce a perfectly manufactured design. If you have never seen precision machining before, this video is one of my favorites.
If you want to join a team making a huge difference in the industry, we are looking for our next sales account executives, see our careers here.