Re3DTech is an Illinois-based additive manufacturing company serving a range of clients from Fortune 50 companies to individuals. Historically, additive manufacturing in small quantities is not cost-effective, but the release of the new HP Multi Jet Fusion printer changes all of that. Re3DTech uses these cutting-edge HP machines to serve their customers who range from Fortune 50 companies to entrepreneurs building prototypes in their garages. These complement their existing additive manufacturing capabilities using the Markforged machines.
In any custom parts business, the quoting process can often get bogged down with complications. Re3dTech realized that they sunk too much time in quoting the lower dollar value jobs that the Multi Jet Fusion process makes possible. To grow their business, Re3DTech needed a solution that could quickly handle the complexity of their customers’ requests, level up their new customer acquisition, and allow the team to send quotes fast.
From Vendor to Partner
What started as a sales arrangement with Paperless Parts in early 2017 has evolved into a partnership. As Paperless Parts evolved, the company was launching a new quoting platform and contacted Re3DTech to see if they would be interested in joining as early beta users.
“At the time, we were using another quoting system. It was a decent product, but wasn’t generating a lot of business. So we incorporated the Paperless Parts quoting platform into our website and quoting process to ensure pricing continuity for our customers,” says James Teuber, Partner at Re3DTech.
As soon as Re3DTech implemented the Paperless Parts Platform, they saw massive changes in their efficiency and customer satisfaction. Unlike their previous software, which was rigid and disconnected from other areas of the business, the Paperless Parts Platform was both incredibly powerful and easy to use.
Accuracy is Key
“If you truly want to get an accurate quote, we need to see all of the parts for ourselves before we quote something,” says Teuber. “There are tons of variables that can affect a quote, the orientation of a piece being a major one for additive manufacturing. In our previous quoting system, auto-quoting doesn’t take orientation into account — leading to inaccurate quotes and frustrated customers.”
“We’ve gotten quite a few of our customers who’ve said how much they like the new quoting system.”
“The Paperless Parts Platform provides a comprehensive, digital view of the quote that lets our team set the price based on the various factors and the 3D geometry of our customers’ parts,” says Teuber.
Further, the Paperless Platform provides quotes for additional quantities. This automatically enables the customer to compare pricing as quantities change, while also providing the business an opportunity to upsell by allowing the customer to balance speed of delivery and price.
“We’ve gotten quite a few of our customers who’ve said how much they like the new quoting system. We’ve actually referred some of our manufacturing customers to Paperless Parts because they liked it so much,” says Russell Beck, Partner at Re3DTech.
Better Quoting Boosts the Bottom Line
In addition to better serving their customers, Re3DTech discovered another benefit with Paperless Parts’ quoting system: improved efficiency in their workflow. This resulted in time and money saved, which is crucial in a small business where both are in short supply. Here are a few of the key areas where Re3DTech saw significant improvement:
Faster and More Accurate Quoting
Manual quoting can be messy, with several back-and-forth emails or phone calls to finalize a sale. With the Paperless Platform, there is an automated request for quote form on the ReD3Tech website that drafts customer requests in quotes directly in the Paperless Platform. On the customer side, there is a simple process to request a quote:
- Click “Get a Quote” on the Re3DTech website which brings you to the RFQ form
- Fill out basic information and upload part files
- Submit request for quote (RFQ)
The RFQ automatically generates a quote that any employee at Re3D tech can send. Customers get the experience of faster responses to their RFQ, while the business gets the benefit of an automated process with no data entry required.
On top of this streamlined workflow, the Paperless Parts Platform also scans all historical data to match the parts in the quote. In the event that a part is a repeat order or a similar part has been quoted before, the Paperless Parts Platform provides feedback to the estimator to ensure consistency in the quoting process.
Tuned Pricing and Capturing Expedites
The danger with an online instant quote system where prices are generated on the fly is that it might provide a quote that doesn’t fit the pricing standards in the business model or the shop’s current capacity. When Re3DTech receives an RFQ, they now have the quoting engine tuned to their shop to automatically generate a price they can evaluate before committing to it.
In addition, expedite options can be added by Re3DTech to allow customers to pay more to get their parts faster. “It enables us, to a degree, to upsell the customer,” says Beck.
Tools Built For the Shop’s Workflow
“We love this quoting platform because of everything it generates,” says Connor Lohens, Additive Manufacturing Manager at Re3DTech. For instance, after a customer places an order, the platform generates a router, which is an internal tool that the Re3DTech team uses to verify the right parts are being sent with each shipment. With a detailed display of each part in a quote, the team can easily verify what was ordered — speeding up their production process. “It helps us in our workflow to have all of this documentation,” says Lohens. All part files and other documentation like the invoice and packing list are all kept in the Paperless Parts Platform as a single source of truth on the order. As Lohens says, “it’s nice to have all of that info in one place. It’s more manageable and less chaotic for us and the customer.”
Growing with Paperless Parts
“One of the best aspects of working with Paperless Parts is how responsive they are to our support requests”, says Teuber. I’ve had many discussions with the team and said, ‘Hey, this is my workflow, could you guys do this?’ And they come back with, ‘That’s a great idea!’ In a week or two, we see it live on the site.”
Teuber says, on top of the incredible functionality of the quoting tool, “I feel like Paperless Parts is an arm of our company, not just a software vendor.”