Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Ford.
Brian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We started discussing and drafting what would become PrintForm towards the end of 2016 and officially launched at the beginning of 2017. Several of us had worked together previously, and after 15 years of successful experience in the industry, we were fortunate to have a really good idea of what needed to be created, along with what we definitely wanted to avoid. It was still a very tough decision to actually make the move to leave a stable and respected position with a large company to go out on your own, and things were definitely lean for a few months. We had few early successes, began receiving consistent daily orders throughout the Spring and Summer last year, and really made significant progress later in the year.
We were fortunate to welcome two separate investors towards the end of 2017 and added a few more team members in early 2018. 2018 will continue to be an exciting time of great change for us, as we launch our proprietary PaasPort (Parts as a service Portal) system (e-commerce, CRM, sales management, project management, and facility management modules), which will greatly enhance our business processes and customer experience. We will continue to add to our revenue projections and our number of team members and should be looking to move to a larger office space around the end of this year.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course, when we started PrintForm we were very small and were starting from scratch, so there was a tremendous amount of work that needed to be done on a limited budget with just a few people. We created a brand, built a website, set up an office space, and formed our Marketing, Sales, Project Management, Supply Chain, and Finance processes from the ground up. I was fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of people and likely learned as much as anyone.
Yes, there have been plenty of bumps along the way, but we also haven’t encountered any issue that was more than we could handle. It’s been a lot of hard work and uncertainty, but that also puts you in a position to better control your own destiny. I imagine all of us have been in a situation where you’re staring down a tough decision to start on a new goal, run a race, move to new city, make a career or relationship change, etc. At first, the change/challenge can seem overwhelming and insurmountable, and it might end up being really difficult for a long time, but more times than not you are able to sort things out just fine and are left with that, “I should’ve done this a long time ago” feeling.
We are now well into our second year, and some of the biggest challenges we face these days would be managing our cash flow as a growing business and finding new ways to attract new customers. And explaining the 90’s to millennials.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about PrintForm – what should we know?
PrintForm provides rapid prototypes and custom manufacturing solutions to the product development community. This includes both plastic and metal designs, and we offer a variety of modern 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies blended with traditional manufacturing processes like machining, molding, and sheet metal.
Think appliances, medical products, handheld electronics, automotive and aerospace applications, anything with a screen and some buttons, etc. The whole world around us is filled with plastic and metal components, which engineers and designers are constantly working to evolve and improve. The process of quoting and sourcing all of these parts can be confusing and time-consuming. We provide the people, service, and technology to simplify and expedite everything.
Beyond our specific industry, our true passion lies in building a business, developing our people, and always serving our customers. At PrintForm, our mission is to make it easy for our customers to buy custom-designed parts that meet their needs. We were proud to announce that we finished 2017 with a yearly Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 78, which can range from -100 to 100. Anything above zero is generally good, and a score over 50 is considered world-class.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
As an individual, I owe everything to my parents who sacrificed a lot to ensure that their kids had the tools and education required to be successful. Professionally, I’m not sure I could ever learn as much as I did during the 10 years I worked with the founding team of Quickparts here in Atlanta. Guys like Mark Mackie, Michael Maurice, and Ron Hollis, who worked just as hard at mentoring and developing individual team members as they did at growing the overall business. We use a lot of the principles and lessons learned from those guys every day here at PrintForm.
Something as simple and powerful as our ABC Core Values, of Always serving the customer by exceeding their expectations and appreciating their business, Being disciplined in everything you do, and Continuously improving with a commitment to measurement, performance, and accountability. It was a lot of very hard work, but like a lot of things, I think we all got out of it what we put into it. Which was a lot. Thanks!
- Address: 13010 Morris Road, Building 1,
Suite 600 Alpharetta, Georgia 30004
- Website: www.PrintForm.com
- Phone: 404-692-5500
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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