Boston Centerless is a leader in U.S. manufacturing, specializing in precision bar materials, preparation services, and supply chain logistics. Founded in 1958 by Len Tamasi, Boston Centerless’ 45,000 square foot facility is located in Woburn, Massachusetts, with additional distribution centers in Woburn, Indiana, and Minnesota. Steve Tamasi, Len’s son and the current owner and CEO of Boston Centerless, has spent the past 35 years growing the business into an international provider for, among others, the Medical Device, Aerospace, Automotive, and Defense industries. As a cutting-edge company that continuously strives to improve its customer experience, Boston Centerless serves as a role model for job shops throughout the manufacturing industry. Steve met Jason Ray, Co-Founder and CEO of Paperless Parts, during the NTMA Chapter Leadership Summit, and Boston Centerless is a proud member of both NTMA and PMPA, both of which Paperless Parts partners closely with.
For 10 years, Steve and his team at Boston Centerless quoted through a built-on quoting feature in their ERP system. Though the solution eliminated many of their quoting burdens at the time, the ERP system was planning an upgrade that required Boston Centerless to pay an upfront cost of a quarter-million dollars to continue using its advanced configurator.
Unwilling to pay the exorbitant cost to quote in the ERP system, the team at Boston Centerless decided to build its own internal quoting solution. The system was used for a couple of years, with two members of the team integrating it with the former ERP system and developing it along the way. “The system worked for the time that we used it, but it became challenging to work with remotely and it wasn’t reliable enough to continue using,” Steve said.
Steve’s main goal was to align the quoting experience for customers with the high standards Boston Centerless had for its customer service. From quality and on-time delivery standpoints, Boston Centerless was meeting and exceeding its customers’ expectations, but the team still received feedback from customers complaining that the company was not responsive enough when it came to quoting.
For Steve, the desired solution revolved around being able to offer instant quoting to customers in order to meet what he described as “Amazonized” expectations in manufacturing, whereby customers have grown to anticipate information quicker than ever. Steve knew that automation in the quoting process, coupled with the ability to integrate that into an ERP system, would set Boston Centerless up to achieve its full efficiency and growth potential.
Steve first came across Paperless Parts through his network and was immediately drawn to how the product was helping manufacturers reach a new standard of instant quoting. After years of quoting through an ERP system and developing an internal quoting system, he was excited to see a solution devoted to the exact challenge Boston Centerless was facing. “When I had first met with the Paperless Parts team, I knew we had finally come across a company that was doing what I had wanted to do for years,” Steve said. “It is a team with a clear vision that gives the right support to its customers, and is as secure and reliable as it gets.”
Another large draw the team at Boston Centerless had towards Paperless Parts was its potential to integrate into other systems it had in place, namely its ERP system, Made2Manage, and its CRM software, HubSpot. The goal in integrating all three solutions was to have each be solely dedicated to its area of focus: Made2Manage for handling orders, HubSpot for heading the company’s contacts and network, and Paperless Parts for managing everything related to quoting.
With the flexibility of Paperless Parts, Boston Centerless was able to seamlessly integrate all three solutions in a highly customized way. “We create our contacts in HubSpot which are pushed into Paperless Parts, and operations created within Paperless Parts get translated into Made2Manage,” said Laurent Cros, Chief Commercial Officer at Boston Centerless. “The transfer of information shows up in less than 30 seconds, so there are no hurdles to doing business in a timely fashion.”
Through Paperless Parts and its integration with HubSpot and Made2Manage, Steve and Laurent have seen vast improvements in the company’s efficiency. Productivity at Boston Centerless has gone up by 50% while response time on quotes has decreased substantially. The increased quoting capacity has enabled the team to quote faster and resolve former customer concerns about responsiveness.
Boston Centerless has also seen a vast uptick in throughput since the integration. In 2018, the team was quoting an average of 75 line items per day; a figure that has since increased to 105 per day in 2021 for a 40% increase between the two periods. Steve and Laurent attribute the ability to process this large uptick in volume to Paperless Parts and its integration with their other systems.
In the quoting process alone, consistency and accuracy across quotes and between estimators improved to unprecedented levels for Boston Centerless. The functionality and robustness of the Paperless Parts software ensure that Steve and his team can be significantly more granular in assigning costs, whereas they previously had to throw blanket markups on jobs. “The accuracy of our quotes aligning with our cost structure means that we’re winning jobs that are profitable,” Steve said. “We have tremendous confidence in what we’ve built in the system.”
With Paperless Parts, Boston Centerless was able to:
- Seamlessly integrate its ERP, CRM, and Quoting software: The integration of Paperless Parts, Made2Manage, and HubSpot has enabled Boston Centerless to have a comprehensive solution for all of its internal operations. “Thanks to Paperless Parts, the integration was reliable even in its early stages,” Laurent said. “All hands were on deck at Paperless Parts and the support of the team was fantastic.”
- Improve internal productivity: Boston Centerless’ productivity has increased by 50% since implementing Paperless Parts and integrating it with Made2Manage and HubSpot.
- Achieve greater quote accuracy and consistency: Where there might have been differences in quotes before, the consistency from quote to quote and estimator to estimator has improved drastically, as have the accuracy of the quotes due to the high specificity of the Paperless Parts software.
- Increase throughput: Boston Centerless went from quoting 75 line items a day to now quoting 105 line items per day for a 40% increase post-implementation of Paperless Parts and its integration with the ERP and CRM software.
- Exceed customer expectations of responsiveness: Before Boston Centerless had the increased quoting capacity, it sometimes struggled to be as responsive as its customers demanded. Today, Boston Centerless is able to respond to its customers faster, improving its customer relationships through its cutting-edge experience.
Boston Centerless now has a way of quoting more accurately and consistently than ever before while also leveraging Paperless Parts’ ability to integrate with its ERP and CRM systems. For all the integration has done for Boston Centerless so far, the team knows how difficult it would be to handle the inflow of work without Paperless Parts and the integration in place. “Had we not implemented Paperless Parts when we did, we would not be coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic as we have,” Steve said. “Our quote volume incoming from our customers is increasing to the point where if we had been on the old system, we just wouldn’t have been able to handle it like we are able to today with Paperless Parts.”
“The Paperless Parts software and its integration with our ERP and CRM software have been instrumental in our ability to service our customers.” – Steve Tamasi, Owner & CEO
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