Paperless Parts, the leading secure, cloud-based sales and quoting platform for job shops and contract manufacturers, today announced the latest enhancement to its quoting platform: Paperless Search. This new feature empowers estimators to prepare more accurate and consistent quotes by easily finding and referencing data from historical quotes and past jobs.
According to a recent Paperless Parts survey of more than 400 U.S. manufacturing part buyers and engineers within procurement, 67% of respondents expect a quote in less than 24 hours and only 6% of respondents are willing to wait longer than three days. This data shows that manufacturers must return RFQs as quickly as possible or risk their chances of winning the job. However, many job shops and contract manufacturers still use manual tools and outdated processes that make it hard to engineer quotes and often overlook existing materials within the organization that could be helpful in speeding up response time and providing consistent and accurate quotes.
Paperless Search addresses these challenges by breaking data out of locked filing cabinets and helping make sense of it by putting it into a single, searchable and secure database. Manufacturers can now easily find all data and files loaded into the Paperless Parts platform, including historical quoting and parts information, in a digital format. This ability to search anything not only improves customer service by enabling a prompt response to RFQs, but also empowers the shop’s front office to field inquiries efficiently because they can reference previous parts, quotes and orders quickly.
“As consumers, we often take for granted the ability to easily find the information we need in seconds by entering a few hasty keywords,” said Jason Ray, co-founder and CEO at Paperless Parts. “For resource-strapped manufacturing shops, that is a luxury they have longed for when going through the tedious process of estimating jobs. Paperless Search is a powerful tool that will only become more valuable as data capture and analytics become more prevalent in modern machine shops and we are eager to see how much more nimble our customers can be armed with the information uncovered in their searches.”
Additional features of Paperless Search include:
- Unlimited Data Capture – This feature makes every word in a user’s account searchable, including information such as comments in collaborative chat tools; part names and quality certifications on prints from past jobs; and file names. Users can search for exact words or portions of words.
- Data Transformation – Paperless Parts turns raw data into meaningful insight, such as connecting critical tolerances from technical drawings to quote items; supporting file names to jobs won; and chat conversations to specific parts. Results are also ranked using a fine-tuned scoring algorithm to deliver the most relevant results. As a result, users can type plain-English terms into the search box and easily find technical information or other details buried in the data of past quotes and jobs.
- Display and Location Markers – For ease of use, all search results are displayed by highlighting exactly what terms matched. Clicking a result will take the user directly to a detailed view of the matched entity, which may be a part in the 3D viewer or a quote item. Users can also look at other fields to quickly zero in on supporting data, such as grouping quote items by their materials or customer name for identification.
“Paperless Search saves a lot of time,” said Bill Berrien, Chief Executive Officer at Pindel Global Precision, Inc. and Liberty Precision Manufacturing Technologies, both Paperless Parts customers. “The ability to search every word in our Paperless Parts account, including data that used to be trapped on PDF drawings, has significantly increased our efficiency in the estimating process by giving us the ability to quickly reference past data. The ability to rapidly search technical data in the given quote, in addition to past quotes, is a key component in the manufacturing value stream and a major step shops need to take when thinking about adopting industry 4.0 technologies and leveraging the digital thread through their operations. Through this feature, Paperless Parts has made that possible.”