Rapid Turn Laser & Machine was founded by Michael Viator in 2012 and is based in Houston, Texas. The company is certified to ISO 9001:2015 for laser cutting, machining and project management for metal components, assemblies and turn-key products.
As a serial entrepreneur, Mike knew the importance of customer service and internal efficiency when he started Rapid Turn Laser & Machine. Metal fabrication is a capital-intensive business, requiring $1.5 million to buy just one laser cutter. To compensate for the debt service of the equipment, it was important for the company to hit the ground running. Mike built the business to offer ancillary services, so he could take advantage of every opportunity to serve customers, rather than sending them to the competition.
Maximizing business opportunities also meant satisfying ISO and quality assurance standards. Working in an industry driven by precision, Rapid Turn Laser & Machine subscribed to the same tenants as its buyers. The shop created quality control procedures to properly measure parts, scale drawings and enter orders. However, one piece of the end-to-end process was not adequate: quoting.
Despite being a modern company, Rapid Turn Laser & Machine still used spreadsheets to create templates for quoting. The spreadsheets contained a high volume of crucial data in tables used to determine the cost of materials, machine times, overhead, labor, special operations and a variable markup based on demand, competition and complexity. The Rapid Turn Laser & Machine sales team did their best to be accurate, but their antiquated system was time-consuming, inflexible and far from optimized. Worse, Mike and the sales team were using different systems, which increased the likelihood of inconsistencies across estimates; that was a lot of manual data entry and analysis across multiple systems consuming time that should have been spent pursuing and servicing customers.
The quoting process also slowed down turnaround times with customers. If customers decided to place orders, they would have to send an email, which the staff would then have to input into their primary system. The process required entering data multiple times, and did not support Rapid Turn Laser’s mission to “provide high quality, fast metal processing services at value driven prices.”
Wanting to take advantage of every business opportunity, Mike knew that software would make quoting faster and more accurate, so he sought out a solution that streamlined data entry, leveraged the cloud and enabled any inside salesperson to create a reliable estimate.
After considering several alternatives, Rapid Turn Laser & Machine selected Paperless Parts’ cloud-based, ITAR-compliant Paperless Quoting Platform.
Paperless Quoting helps process and organize the high volume of parts data, which eliminates the need for spreadsheets. Paperless Parts also helped Rapid Turn Laser & Machine standardize the estimating process so that any team member could quote with consistency and precision. Because estimators now enter data into the system once, and not in several places, the chance for human error was significantly reduced. Additionally, there was a dramatic improvement in employee morale because of the reduction of stress and error with the new quoting process.
Paperless Parts also helps improve the accuracy of quotes by utilizing the part geometry to inform pricing. The powerful Paperless Parts geometry engine analyzes parts based on the shop’s manufacturing processes to suggest pricing, shows manufacturability warnings, and gives estimators a 3D CAD viewer that can be used as thumbnails.
With Paperless Parts, Rapid Turn Laser & Machine’s customers can now review and even pay for quotes digitally. Customers receive a superior buying experience with features like 3D part previews, expedite pricing, and the ability to pay via credit card or PO. This ensures that Rapid Turn Laser & Machine gets paid for parts on time, and that there’s no confusion on the final parts being made.
By using Paperless Parts to streamline the quoting process, speed up quote turnaround time, and improve the customer experience, Rapid Turn Laser & Machine saw improvements in all areas of the business: average estimating time was reduced by 25%, employees had more time to perform other tasks, customer service was improved, and Mike finally had time to focus on operating the business. Paperless Parts helps Rapid Turn Laser & Machine deliver a faster, more refined quoting experience, which helps build loyalty and grow the business.
Rapid Turn Laser & Machine has since won a Manufacturing Leadership Award for their technology-driven quoting with Paperless Parts.