Contributor: Kevin Must
Many manufacturers agree: it is extremely difficult to produce an accurate quote in a timely manner. Regardless of your industry experience or how extensive the Excel sheet is that you use, you need to account for many variables to generate the most accurate quote.
What makes quoting difficult?
It is a challenge to project the time and material cost of a specific job. However, software can help alleviate some of the pain. Having a system that stores your labor costs and post processing information with other parameters will help generate quotes swiftly and accurately. These variables tend to stay static, but some can be dynamic (especially given current tariffs on imported goods).
How quoting software works
You may be wondering how software can help? Quoting software integrates with your CAD/CAM software, allowing for fast and accurate quoting by instantly accessing necessary information for the job. With everything connected we can collect important information, such as part geometry, hourly wages, post time, material type, etc. in a snap.
Okay, so this process helps make it easier - but does it automate it? The current volatility of the import/export market on steel makes it difficult to automate without having an ERP system of your own. In theory, once the market stabilizes, we can link to market pricing on all steel and populate the results
What tariffs on steel mean for your quotes
What if you bought a sheet of steel less than 6 months ago that is still in stock? In today’s steel market with newly proposed tariffs, you may think it cost 25% more. While quoting today’s price for a sheet you bought six months ago sounds profitable for the shop, it is not the best business practice.
Furthermore, if you flip the bid you will be quoting at a lower price than what you paid for the sheet in the first place. Our industry is getting closer and closer to automation on the shop floor. Why not move this process beyond the shop floor into the administrative realm? Quoting may take hours of management’s time to get as accurate as possible.
Spend less time quoting
A quoting system will free up hours of your production manager’s time by communicating with your current systems and then simply populating a few fields. This automation allows production to focus on the big picture of the business and dial-in on becoming even more efficient.
If you are interested in seeing how Lantek Integra Quotes can save your shop time and money, schedule a demo today!