Learn about the role processes play in quoting and how to configure them. 

In this article

What is a process?

A process is an estimating template that can be quickly selected and applied to a quote item. Each process has a default set of operations, pricing items, add-ons, discounts, lead times, and more, all of which will be added to a quote item when a process is first assigned. You can configure a process template from the Configure tab at any time. 

Typically, a process’s name will reflect how you’ll manufacture the part in your shop (“CNC Mill 5-axis”, “Laser”, etc.). This makes it easier to select the correct process and also lets your buyer know how you’ll generally be making the part, as the process name is displayed on the finalized quote (depending on your account settings). That being said, process names are highly customizable and can be anything from “Jim’s process” to “Complex waterjet” - what’s most important is that they are easy for your team to select and assign while quoting. 

What is a custom process?

Custom processes are processes with rules that drive the automatic selection of router steps. Those rules are dictated by P3L and typically use a part's geometry to determine which operations will be assigned to a quote item. 

For example, let’s say you’re quoting two parts with CAD files - a flat part and a part with a bend - both of which you’ll be lasering out of a sheet of material. You assign the same custom process (“Laser”) to each. Both parts end up with the same base set of operations, but the bent part has an additional “Press brake” operation that the flat part doesn’t. In this scenario, the custom “Laser” process was set up to call a “Press brake” operation in the presence of a bend.

Note: This feature is included in the Professional and Enterprise pricing plans. 

What is a CNC process?

Like custom processes, CNC processes will use a part's CAD file to determine which router steps to generate. Specifically, a CNC process will look at the number of setups detected on a part's 3D model and call certain operations once per setup. 

For instance, in this CNC process, the milling estimate operation is marked as Per Setup

When we assign this process to a part with two detected setups, the resulting router will automatically assign two CNC Milling estimates operations. 

These processes can be useful if you want one operation per CNC setup but otherwise have a templated process.

How do I assign a process to a quote item?

When you first create a new quote item, you'll be prompted to assign a process, material, and finish

Click the arrow next to Select Process to browse available processes, optionally typing to search. 

Once you've selected the appropriate process, select  Confirm. This will apply all operations, add-ons, pricing items, and the standard lead time in the process template to the quote item. 

Note: This selection is not required to create a quote item and can be assigned later from the Process section of a quote item. 

How do I change a quote item's process?

Warning: Changing a quote item's process late into quoting may cause you to lose existing costing. 

To change a quote item's process:

  1. Open the quote item and navigate to the Process section.
  2. Select Change process
  3. Select a new process from the menu, optionally typing to search. 
  4. Click Update to change the process and regenerate all operations. 
    1. Note: Changing a process mid-quote will delete all existing costing and pricing items unless you select Update and keep existing ops.

How do I set up a process?

To create a new process or edit an existing one, head to the Processes tab of the Configure page.

Creating a new process

To create a new process, click  +New process at the bottom of the Processes tab. 

Assign a name to your new process and select a process template - either a generic process, a CNC process, or a custom process

Select Create process to confirm. 

If you don't want to start from scratch, you can also duplicate an existing process to create a new copy. Scroll to the bottom of an existing process and select Duplicate.

Configuring a process

Select a process to open it. 

Here, you can edit the default values associated with this process's quoting template. 

  1. Internal process name: The name of the process within your organization in Paperless Parts. 
  2. Displayed process name: The process name displayed on the Digital Quote and the Smart RFQ form. 
  3. Standard lead time: The standard turnaround time for a part with this process.
  4. Yield: The percent of total parts your shop makes with this process that you will send to the buyer. The yield % will directly impact the make quantity and, subsequently, the price of the part. 
  5. Limit materials to a managed list: Is this process typically associated with a specific material (or set of materials)? Toggle this on to limit a part's available materials to a predetermined list. 
  6. Operations: The standard router that will be assigned to a part with this process. 
  7. Custom operation generation: For custom processes only. Click Edit formula to access the logic that determines which operations will come in when you assign this process to a part.
  8. Available finishes: The list of finishes that you can select from for a part with this process. 
  9. Add-ons: The standard additional costs for a part with this process. Add-ons will be visible on the finalized quote. 
  10. Pricing: The standard markups and margins for a part with this process. 
  11. Smart RFQ settings: Should customers be able to assign this process to a part when they're filling out the Smart RFQ? If yes, check "Available in RFQ Form". 

Edit operations

When you're editing the operations for a generic process, you can add additional rules about when they should be applied using the  Assembly and Root component only checkboxes. 

  • Operations with the Assembly option checked will only come in if this process is assigned to a part with children (an assembly or subassembly part). 
    • This checkbox is best for router steps such as "Assemble". 
  • Any operation with the Root component only option checked will only appear if this process is assigned to the top level of an assembly. It will not appear if this process is assigned to a subassembly. 
    • This checkbox is typically for operations that you would only perform once on an assembled part, like "Inspection". 

When creating a CNC process, you'll also have the option to mark operations as Per Setup, meaning that they'll be added to the router once per setup. 

Deleting processes

To remove a process from your organization:

  • Open it from the configuration tab
  • Scroll to the bottom and select Delete.


Is a part's process visible on the finalized quote?

By default, a quote item's process will be visible on the Digital Quote. There are two ways to change this: 

  • If you never want a quote item's process to be visible on a quote, you can remove processes from finalized quotes in your Digital Quote settings
  • If you don't want a particular process's name to be visible on quotes, change the process's display name in the Configure tab
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