To help boost the bottom line, a growing number of metal service centers are moving beyond simply providing stock to offer cutting and other value-added services. Like many fabricators, these companies invest in machinery and software packages to accelerate cutting time, increase part quality, reduce scrap, and automate manual steps. All good things. However, these tools are not delivering on the front-end of the business and fail to address what matters most: sales.
CAD/CAM nesting, 3D design, offline programming and similar technologies are focused on production ready parts. While these programs are very good at what they do, they fail to address the needs of the sales team. Often these product vendors develop an afterthought add-on module attempting to create a quoting environment, but this backward approach often falls short.
What most companies who serve the industry fail to understand, is the difference between production and quoting. Fully engineered drawings are often required to generate estimates – creating the exact bottleneck we are all trying to avoid.