Founded in 1995, Baillie Fabricating & Welding, Inc. is an industrial fabrication business located in West Chester, PA specializing in custom packaging equipment and pharmaceuticals. They strive to be a one-stop-shop for quality professional welding and metal fabrication at an affordable price.
Their 9-person team includes president Steve Baillie, who has a diverse background in the fabrication field, Tammy Baillie who manages HR and Accounting, Chris Henderson who handles CAD drafting and estimating, and Kyle Ballantyne, Shop Foreman, who has recently grown into an estimating role and assists with CAD design.
As the sheet metal fabrication industry grew more competitive over the years, Baillie Fabricating began to struggle on delivering quotes back to customers fast enough to beat out competitors. They were striving to provide fast and accurate service, but their quoting process was holding them back.
Steve’s pricing formulas were driven by Excel spreadsheets, so on top of being inaccurate, all of his tribal knowledge was spread across various files and saved in multiple locations. “Our estimating method was cumbersome and not very accurate at estimating costs,” recalls Steve. “The competition in the sheet metal fab industry can be very tight pricing wise—our pricing was ballpark, and we couldn’t get it down to a tighter range.”
Kyle noted that Steve recognized he was limiting the company’s ability to secure new work, because quoting and estimating knowledge was inaccessible to others. “We needed to get our quoting procedures out of Steve’s head and onto paper so that others could follow it and have a system in place that was not dependent on handholding,” says Kyle.
But even with attempts to equip others with Steve’s insights, using a combination of spreadsheets and paper was slowing their team down. “It was a challenge to quote a high volume of business quickly and step up the volume when our pricing lacked precision and consistency,” says Steve. In order to quote faster and with greater accuracy and repeatability, Baillie Fabricating knew they needed a solution that allowed them to see everything they needed to quote—all in one place.
When the team at Baillie Fabricating discovered Paperless Parts, they saw their vision come to life. “Even those that we thought might struggle with it jumped right in and learned the platform quickly,” recalls Kyle. “Initially, it can be a lot of information to understand, but after a couple weeks it started to sink in and we all started to hone in on our processes.”
One of the biggest benefits of using Paperless Parts has been not having to manually input data from nesting reports. Additionally, the platform’s 3D interrogation feature has allowed their sales team to quickly understand the fabrication process for a part, even for those who may not have a background in sheet metal. The team chat feature has also been a great tool for communication with other employees, external vendors, and customers, making the overall process smoother and more efficient.
Another key benefit has been the improvement in pricing accuracy. Baillie Fabricating was previously under-estimating jobs, but with the help of Paperless Parts, they have been able to better dial in their costing and pricing formulas and create a more accurate and repeatable strategy. As a result, they feel more confident when they send out their quotes (which are also being turned around in a much shorter amount of time).
“We’ve been very happy with our experience using Paperless Parts,” says Steve. “We’re covering our bases; the interrogation definitely is helping. A lot of times the system will pick up things that we might miss—potential manufacturing errors, such as holes too close to a bend, drafting issues, etc.—that provides us with comfort and trust.”
Kyle recalls a recent customer interaction that saved their shop time and headaches: “One customer had really tight tolerances on the holes, and while quoting the part, I was able to notice those, flag them, and have a conversation before giving her a price. She didn’t need the tight tolerances, but we caught it and were able to communicate that before over-quoting the part.”
Since implementing Paperless Parts, Baillie Fabricating has been able to:
- Grow their revenue. Baillie Fabricating saw a 50% increase in revenue growth during the first year that they started using Paperless Parts.
- Create a new source of revenue. Since starting to use Paperless Parts and adding dynamic pricing options to their quotes, Baillie Fabricating has collected $5,000 in expedite fees, and still been able to deliver on time.
- Save 10-15 hours per week. The team at Baillie Fabricating has been able to cut their quoting time in half, largely because they no longer need to manually input data from nesting reports and can quickly understand everything that will be needed to make a part.
“We feel busier. We’ve had quite a bit of backlog, and we’re on track to hit end-of-year numbers that are 20-30% higher than last year’s.”