The right software can make estimating manufacturing costs faster and easier than ever. You don’t have to be an expert in manufacturing processes or estimating software to use these tools—they are designed for anyone to use.
These tools provide the ability to create accurate estimates of your manufacturing costs, so you can see exactly how much money you’ll need before beginning a project. This means you won’t be surprised by extra costs later on in the process!
In this post, we review the aspects of Estimating Software For Manufacturing, machine shop quoting software, manufacturing cost estimation, and fabrication estimating software.
Estimating Software For Manufacturing
What do you think about the software that powers your business? Do you like it? Does it do what you need? Are there features missing from it that would really help your bottom line? Maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe it’s time to look at other options. If so, then read on.
Software is a tool, but it can’t do everything.
Now, if you are thinking to yourself, “Oh great! I can just automate everything!”, think again. Software is a tool and it doesn’t do everything. As we mentioned earlier in this article, there are things that you need to do by hand. In order for software to be effective, software developers have had to make some assumptions about how things will work in practice. Additionally, since many companies use different types of software for different types of activities (eg., manufacturing vs finance), the assumption may not be true across all areas of your company or industry.
In addition to requiring people for certain tasks that cannot be automated or where human error might result in higher quality production than automation would provide (eg., machine calibration), there are other reasons why some processes should not be automated:
Software should be an enabler of process improvement.
Software should be an enabler of process improvement. It can’t be the only way you improve your processes, but it can be a great tool to help with process improvement. I will give you two examples of how software can help with process improvement:
- Software that allows you to create and manage checklists easily is a great example of how software helps with process improvement. A checklist is a high level document that contains all the steps involved in completing a task or project, and allows users to quickly review the various steps required for completion. Checklists help keep track of what needs to get done and by whom, so that everyone is on the same page as far as accountability goes.
- Software that allows for collaborative work across many different departments at once is another example of how software helps with process improvement because it promotes collaboration between team members from different departments without having them sit in one room together like they would normally do if they were sharing screens while working remotely.
How much software is too much?
Remember, software should be used to help you do your job better. If a piece of software is slowing down your processes or causing issues, there’s a good chance it isn’t the right fit for your business.
If you have any questions about whether or not a particular type of software is right for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out!
The only way to ensure software functionality is with comprehensive testing.
Testing is a critical part of the software development process, and it’s imperative that your company have an effective testing strategy in place. It’s important to get input from people who are familiar with both the process and the software; this will ensure that every angle of your manufacturing process is covered.
To get started, you’ll want to run both manual and automated tests on your new software system. Manual tests include things like smoke testing (basically, just turning it on and seeing what happens) as well as business-specific tests such as entering data for a particular customer or product line into their respective fields within the interface. Automated testing allows you to use computers to repeatedly perform certain tasks (like opening up a file), which can be run over and over again until they pass or fail according to predetermined criteria (such as “the file must open” or “the file must not print”). The more positive test cases you run through automated processes, the better informed you’ll be about how well those processes work!
Keeping your data safe is essential.
When it comes to your data, the most important thing is making sure that it’s safe. You should back up your data regularly, encrypting it so that only you can access the information and storing it in a secure location. When transferring large amounts of information, use encryption throughout the process to ensure that no one else can see what you’re sending or receiving.
Estimating software should help your business be more efficient and accurate.
When it comes to estimating software, the most important thing for you to remember is that it’s just a tool. Your business should use it as such: as a means of improving processes and achieving your goals, not as a cure-all for all your problems. That’s why it’s important to choose the right solution for each of your needs.
So what are some of these needs? You want to be able to get more accurate estimates, keep all of your data safe, and improve your processes for future projects by taking advantage of the functionality built into this type of software—and there are solutions available that specialize in each one!
machine shop quoting software
Get the best manufacturing quoting and estimating software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.
What is Manufacturing Quoting and Estimating Software?
Manufacturing quoting and estimating software helps generate quotes based on the costs for materials, labor, overhead, and more. Also known as shop floor cost estimating software, these solutions aim to maximize time and profits with accurate and straightforward quotes generated directly from workstations. These quotes analyze past estimates and look at which ones turned into sales and which ones were did not–ensuring you can close more sales by customizing efficiency rates, scrap percentages, and other variables.
An industry-specific type of configure, price, and quote systems (CPQ software), manufacturing quoting and estimating software helps your business get from quote to cash. Giving an accurate quote is one of the biggest factors in whether a company decides to do business with you–and delays in putting together a quote can stop a deal from occurring altogether. This software will provide insight into the real-time prices and materials, labor costs, and current capacity.
Storing information on past quotes and estimates helps put together accurate quotes quickly and easily. This lets you check the inventory of parts, materials, and purchases during your quoting process, and allow you to ultimately gain insights into your profit margins through parts costing.
Manufacturing quoting software will let you use existing master inventory items and price breaks to create quotes on the fly. Your employees will be able to easily optimize prices by comparing costs and marking-up capacity. And similar to features offered in many CRM software, you’ll be able to create quotes for new customers on the fly without having to create a master customer file.
Features of Manufacturing Quoting and Estimating Software
Benefits of Manufacturing Quoting and Estimating Software
The top benefits of using an estimating and quoting software for manufacturers include:
Standardize Pricing Within Your Sales Process
Creating quotes and estimates via manual methods includes a large time investment in grabbing pricing from large databases or spreadsheets. This time-consuming process means your estimates are ending up in your customer’s hands later than your competition–which can make or break whether a customer decides to move forward with your company.
Complicated pricing structures can now be built into the software–reducing overhead for new employees that are being brought up to speed. Standardization will also improve flexibility and reduce manufacturing costs, as well as support other cost reduction methods such as build-to-order and customization.
Standardized pricing will reduce the cost of production. This is due to the effect it has on the product design process. Once products are designed to a specific quality standard and specification, it can be difficult to make further changes. An accurate quoting and estimating process will ensure that your development and design stages can go full steam ahead with the parts it needs, material overheads, labor, and quality costs.
Streamline The Sales Process For Your Customers
Manufacturing estimating software will speed up when orders can be finalized and moved into production due to less time spent digging for the necessary information during the quote creation process. Because of this, customers will receive a more engaging experience when buying from a company that uses manufacturing and quoting software. Rather than sit around waiting for a quote, or worse, going to a competitor for a quote, customers can commit to their order right away so your manufacturing team can get into production faster.
By eliminating the concern of how long it may be before a manufacturing estimate can be created, customers can now freely request orders with a large variety of parts and procedures without worry that they may be bogging you down. Manufacturing companies will also be able to focus on improving their response time during their production process rather than having potential orders tied up by an inefficient sales process.
Stay Within Your Margins
With the level of complex products being made by manufacturers today, there is a need to produce highly-specific configurations that require participation from both business and engineering teams. Manufacturers continue to have their margins tested and squeezed further than before. This is due to non-standardized quotes, discounting, and rebates that may be a factor in issuing a price quote to a customer.
Implementing a manufacturing quoting and estimating system will help eliminate the chance of these non-standardized quotes. This insight will let you know which departments or channel partners are producing products the most consistently within your preferred margins. This brings more uniformity and consistency to any individuals (such as resellers) and ensures your product is sold at a more true rate.
Increase Automation Functionality in eCommerce Manufacturing Processes
eCommerce software capabilities let manufacturers sell their goods and services online, including the ability to automatically update inventory, calculate taxes, and anything else necessary to fulfill orders. This includes providing accurate price estimates to ensure the profitability of your business.
One of the most important reasons to integrate your manufacturing quoting and estimating software within your eCommerce operations is for a detailed, price-itemized bill of materials (BOM) displays. This provides a visual configuration and representation of what your customer is looking to accomplish.
In addition, integrated quoting and estimating within eCommerce will help eliminate any cumbersome request-for-quote (RFQ) process your business may deal with. You may even give the customer the ability to generate the quote on their own–meaning they can immediately lay the foundation for the product they want with immediate pricing. This means your customers are actively working for you in building their quotes, and you’re also making them feel more included in the price quote process.
manufacturing cost estimation
There are many different types of manufacturing, and each one requires a different approach. For example, small batch manufacturers might find it most effective to set their own prices based on materials costs and labor hours. On the other hand, large-volume manufacturers often have better results when they use software estimating tools to help them automate their pricing processes. In this article we’ll discuss why these tools are so important for manufacturing companies of all sizes and what makes them so useful.
What is software estimating?
Software estimating is a type of software that helps you estimate the costs of your manufacturing process. It uses a database of historical data to predict the cost of your manufacturing process, so you can make better decisions about it.
Software estimating can be used for any type of manufacturing process, from simple to complex.
Why do you need software estimating?
Why do you need software estimating?
It’s easy to use.
You can get a more accurate estimate.
It saves time.
You can do it anywhere.
What are the most important benefits of using software estimating tools?
The most important benefits of using software estimating tools are:
- Cost savings
- Time savings
- Improved quality
- Improved customer service, and improved communication with customers.
How can you use software estimating?
Software estimating can be used for many purposes. You can use software to estimate costs, time, materials and labor as well as profit and risk. The most common uses of software estimating are cost estimates and time estimates.
How to find the best one for your needs
- Look for the right features
- Find out what your team members prefer to use
- Ask your customers what they prefer to use
- Find out if there are any discounts available
- Check if there is a trial version available
fabrication estimating software
To give yourself the best opportunity for growth and success in the metal fabrication industry, you need to have well-defined processes, smartly-managed costs, and top-quality end products. Katana can help with this.
As a steel fabrication estimating software, Katana brings your manufacturing process into the light, so you can track your raw metals through the fabrication process, into being complete products, and then sold and shipped. You can also integrate crucial elements of your business, including e-commerce, accounting, and shipping, to get a better view of your company data and make informed decisions about ways to alter or grow production.
Prioritize the right raw materials, and decrease turnaround time with better planning
Prior to the production process of your sheet metal fabrication, you’ll need to create a bill of materials for each product you’re producing. Within Katana, this is made as easy as possible, as bills of materials (BOMs) are highly customizable, including the option to include production notes and create variants for each product. Once your BOMs are created, your warehouse team can get to work on production, and you can use Katana to calculate your processing costs, looking at the moving average cost of your raw materials, and the costs of your daily running. This should help to prioritize and alter workflows over time.
Steel fabricators can also then alter their estimating processes with the greater data available to them through Katana’s platform, potentially saving money and time daily.
Use native integrations for smart financial and document management
Managing your company’s finances well is crucial in every manufacturing industry, including steel fabrication. And along with adjusting the costs of your completed structural steel products, you’ll also want to make sure your company accounts are well looked after. Katana offers direct integration with both QuickBooks Online and Xero, and our API can be used to integrate other accounting software options. We also offer automatic generation of purchase and sales orders within Katana, so your documentation is always taken care of without any manual intervention.
With fabrication costs managed, you can focus on reaching customers using one of our many e-commerce integrations and completing their deliveries with your choice of shipping partner. Katana offers an ideal option as a steel fabrication estimating software for all metalwork manufacturers.