Ricaurte Precision Inc. is a precision machine shop in Santa Ana, California, that aggressively pursues continuous improvement initiatives and investments in technology to guarantee the highest quality and most cost-effective processes in the industry.
They specialize in CNC machining tight tolerance parts that can fit inside a shoebox and have a wealth of experience working with various hard alloys and plastics. Their many in-house capabilities include 5-axis milling, multi-axis turning, Swiss screw machining, and wire EDM. Ricaurte Precision is a proud member of the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA), an association that Paperless Parts partners closely with.
Ricaurte Precision had a decent but inefficient quoting method that consisted of using emails, spreadsheets, various printed-out hard copies, and sticky notes. “It was a potpourri of communication we were trying to put together,” Hernan Ricaurte, the company’s President, said. “On a good day, all information was documented, digitized, and placed in a folder on the server. On a bad day, we had a stack of various printouts and spreadsheets which are hard to organize, archive, and reference.”
Information was disconnected and siloed making it time-consuming for the team to reference existing data and create new quotes. Because there was no all-encompassing and centralized database for various departments to view and collaborate on quotes, estimators often had to schedule in-person meetings when they needed input from a specific department.
The communication struggles weren’t just internal—Ricaurte Precision also had to spend significant time interacting with vendors and customers during the quoting process. If a customer didn’t have SOLIDWORKS on their computer, it was often impossible to show them a 3D model of their part. Email chains became unwieldy, and critical communications were sometimes not clearly communicated.
With vendors, Ricaurte Precision often had to print out the drawing, redact it, highlight and put their notes on the paper, and then send it. “We needed a better way to efficiently communicate with our vendors because we want to be at the top of the list so we can get the quote back to customers as quickly as possible,” Hernan said.
Ricaurte Precision’s quoting process was time-consuming, inconsistent, and inconvenient for all parties involved.
Hernan knew something had to change but was initially hesitant to implement a software solution like Paperless Parts. Ricaurte Precision works primarily with aerospace and medical customers and is responsible for handling highly sensitive information. Hernan worried that a digital platform might not provide the necessary level of data security. He was also wary of transitioning staff, vendors, and customers to a new platform before knowing with 100% certainty that it would work out.
However, once Hernan better understood how the platform could improve his business, he made the jump. “It was a no-brainer,” he said. Not only is Paperless Parts secure enough to handle sensitive data, but it also solves almost every issue Ricaurte Precision had in their estimating department.
“For us, it is super important to have a lot of people involved in the quoting process because we are not so small that one person does it all, but we are not so big that we have the luxury of not wearing many hats,” said Hernan. “Getting the right people involved in an efficient and seamless way is really important. The real-time communication within the Paperless Parts platform is excellent and allows us to bring the right people in at the right time.”
Paperless Parts increases transparency, efficiency, and collaboration. The platform allows everyone involved in the quoting process to view 3D models, stores critical information and documents in one secure location, and enables real-time customer communication. With the Paperless Parts platform in place, Ricaurte Precision’s employees reclaimed a substantial amount of time in their work weeks. “The ability to view 3D models amongst the team within Paperless Parts does away with the requirement for everyone to have SOLIDWORKS. We’re able to work on quotes on the fly when it works best for us and our schedules,” Hernan said.
“You have all your documentation right there. You open up that quote and you’ve got your material quotes, your outside processing quotes, and programming and machining notes. You have all relevant and related documentation in one centralized and digital location that we can share with our team so there is no miscommunication or risk that we will miss something on the quote.”
With Paperless Parts, Ricaurte Precision:
- Reduces time spent on quoting 25%. The ability to annotate and share 3D models, go back and forth about parts, and centralize all information minimizes delays in communication, organizing data, and scheduling multiple internal meetings reducing quoting time by 25%.
- Saves team members 4-6 hours per week. Hernan used to spend his evenings quoting, but because quoting is faster with Paperless Parts, he and his staff have reclaimed their time. The team can now reinvest that time into continuous improvement projects or other valuable activities. “This is a huge benefit for us. We are saving at least 4 to 6 hours a week just on our ability to quickly access files, solid models, and previous communication in one location,” Hernan said.
- Improves customer communication. With Paperless Parts, customers receive thorough, accurate, and up-to-date information about their quotes with the click of a button. Ricaurte Precision has several buyers who aren’t able to access solid models. With Paperless Parts, they can share links with their customers through the Paperless Viewer, which lets anyone view all file formats without having to pay for native CAD software licenses. Customers can view both PDF and 3D CAD files to better understand everything about the part and confirm with their engineering colleagues internally. Ricaurte Precision customers report loving the convenience, transparency, and accuracy that the platform provides.
Ricaurte Precision was losing valuable time to quoting inefficiencies. Paperless Parts streamlined the quoting process, allowing them to archive important information, access critical data, and communicate easily with vendors and customers. As a result, they’ve reallocated valuable employee time to pursuing continuous improvement initiatives that help them better serve their customers.
“Southern California is an extremely competitive market with a large manufacturing economy. We need to constantly improve and drive efficiencies to remain price competitive with minimal effect on our profitability. Paperless Parts is a no-brainer for us.”