Precision Machine, Inc. provides CNC solutions for material processing, turning, and vertical machining of small, medium, and large run projects. Founded in 1997 by owner Jamie Spitzer, Precision Machine is located in Algoma, Wisconsin, and serves a broad range of industries including aerospace, defense, and forestry.
70% of Precision Machine’s buyers send PDFs which means the majority of their quoting is done through PDFs. Not only does quoting through PDFs reflect how their customers operate, but it also allows its team members, such as General Manager Eric Schneider, the ability to see specific technical data on the part. “Quoting PDFs gives us the ability to view the details of the customer requirements,” Schneider said. “Things like material callouts, tolerancing, and other specifications that we need to accurately quote are seldom included when only a 3D model is given.”
Quoting Takes Time Away From The Shop’s Experts
Having worked in many different roles during his years at Precision Machine, Schneider knows the business entirely. However, as the General Manager and a lead estimator, Schneider was unable to fully apply his expertise to the shop because of the time he was spending on quoting. For years, the estimators at Precision Machine had been consumed by the quoting process, and the energy that was devoted to the upfront work involved with quoting did not deliver a payoff for the business.
Schneider and Spitzer knew that in order to have the time to grow the business, they needed to free up their time to focus on other areas of their business. This meant adjusting their quoting process to involve more people with less experience while simplifying the process as much as possible.
Like many shops, Precision Machine was quoting manually through Excel spreadsheets, though this did not simplify their quoting or involve more people in the process.
Streamlining The Quoting Process
After years of using Excel spreadsheets, Schneider and Spitzer were still not able to simplify and involve more people in their quoting process. To make their quoting process more efficient, Spitzer and Schneider decided to look into software solutions, though they were skeptical; not only can new software be very expensive, but they had also grown accustomed to their former system.
“Our reservation about taking on new software was the unknown of how it would help us,” Schneider said. “Change, in general, is never easy, and we had been very comfortable using Excel. We expected transferring our process into a software platform would be cumbersome at the beginning.”
When they came across Paperless Parts, they knew they had found the solution that could help them make their quoting more efficient. Not only was Paperless Parts cost-effective and easy to implement, but it would also allow them to involve less experienced people in their quoting process.
“Prior to using Paperless Parts, Jamie and I basically did all of the quoting,” Schneider said. “Since we started using Paperless Parts, we have brought four more employees into the process which has alleviated most of Jamie’s quoting responsibilities.” Different features have made it easy for new employees to become involved with quoting. For instance, by using the search feature, any estimator can quickly look up part numbers to see if they have quoted the parts in the past to avoid re-quoting jobs they have already done.
Additionally, Paperless Parts automatically analyzes parts that are uploaded and alerts estimators when a similar geometry, part number, or file name is found. When quoting 3D models, estimators can easily see geometrically similar parts that have been quoted before. For PDFs, estimators can search a part number and locate similar parts.
Time spent re-quoting parts is time wasted, especially on jobs that aren’t won. Seeing similar parts saves time because estimators don’t have to quote parts that have been worked on before. This enables Precision Machine to complete quotes more quickly, which is directly connected to a higher win rate; roughly 80% of the shop’s revenue is made up of quotes sent in less than an hour of draft-to-send time.
Many shops are not aware of how many times their quotes have been viewed, or even received by their customers. Paperless Parts’ Digital Quote allows Precision Machine to see when a customer has viewed their quote. This allows them to be proactive in their customer communication; if Schneider sees that a customer has not looked at the quote several days after it was sent, he knows he should reach out to confirm they have received it. As Schneider put it: “Physically being able to see the visual feedback of buyers looking at the quotes has been hugely beneficial for communication and securing jobs.”
A Robust System For Quoting PDFs
Quoting PDFs through Paperless Parts gives Precision Machine many of the same benefits as quoting through 3D models, including the ability to use process templates, the collaboration feature, quote views, and win rates and quote analytics.
For a shop like Precision Machine that works primarily with buyers who send PDFs, Paperless Parts is crucial to their success, providing them with a central repository for handling quotes, while not compromising their historical quoting style or their customers’ preferences of sending PDFs.
“Using Paperless Parts has given us a robust system for entering, organizing, and tracking our quoting efforts. It has offered benefits such as collaboration and a clean, easy-to-follow quote to our customers,” Schneider said. “Because of Paperless Parts, we have streamlined our quoting process and achieved our goal of involving more people so that we can grow our business further.”