With a unique online business model, Atlanta-based Quickparts opens the door for engineers to order low volume, custom designed parts with a click of a button. Quickparts handles order quantities from one part to 100,000 – filling a unique niche left void by manufacturers that only take orders exceeding 100,000.
The company provides parts for every industry, President Dr. Ronald L. Hollis says, from medical to consumer products. Quickparts’ QuickQuote feature allows its customers to upload CAD and other design data to its Web site and choose the manufacturing process, design, and color and receive an instant quote. “It’s kind of like why you might go to Amazon to see how much a book costs,” Hollis explains.
“It’s like that, but cooler. What it does is eliminate all the sales pressure from the process, and it empowers the customer to get the information they need without going through inefficiencies of sales quoting.”
Quickparts’ more than 12,000 customers then can order the products at the click of a button. When the order is received, the customer has a dedicated project manager to handle all questions they may have. “It’s off to the races from there,” Hollis says. “We’re the Home Depot of the custom design market. They make it easy for customers to buy their stuff, and we do the same thing for engineers.”
A “heavy” portion of Quickparts’ customers are repeat clients, Hollis says, and that can be attributed to the company’s focus on close communication and excellent service – areas that typically aren’t manufacturers’ strong suits. Although the vast majority of Quickparts’ customers are in North America, its business model also attracts international work.
“We do have a unique business model,” Hollis says. “Our competition is a traditional manufacturer who has a single process with limited customer interaction. Customer relationships are something we pride ourselves on, and we always make sure we are taking care of them.”
Although indicating product specifications and placing orders online may seem like an impersonal process, Hollis says Quickparts team members are available at all times, should questions or issues arise. After an order is placed, a project manager is “in their hip pocket” to provide information and communications until the customer receives the delivery. “That’s a very hands-on, customer-loving approach,” Hollis says.
While 2009 was a year of economic struggles and decreased development, Hollis says Quickparts’ customer focus helped it thrive, because other firms “got rid of what little customer service they did have.”
The company took advantage of the slump and used it as an opportunity to better itself. “We were able to leverage our brand and marketing power, which we worked very heavily on, to expand our foundation,” Hollis says. “The market is very cyclical, so we’re cautiously optimistic for 2010.”
The company also trained its next class of team members to ensure they will uphold the Quickparts standard. Each round of employees goes through a company “bootcamp” to make sure they can hit the ground running when training is completed.
“Quickparts is one of the best companies in the world in manufacturing,” Hollis says. “The big challenge is finding A-players to help our team and build out our foundation. We are always recruiting for A-players, then bring them through our process and systems to assess their alignment to our values.”