Sheet Metal Estimating Software: 3 Steps to Breaking up with Excel

Streamline Metal Estimating

That Excel spreadsheet has been pretty good to you over the years. Together you’ve logged a lot of hours and have won some nice contracts along the way.  But times have changed, and the truth is your company has outgrown that relationship. So, unlock yourself from that old ball and chain and hook up with a new streamlined quoting partner. 

Here are three steps to a happier sales life

Step 1: Look in the mirror.

If you are the owner, sales manager, or otherwise responsible for growing a fabrication business, ask yourself a couple of questions.

·  Are your machines running at full capacity? 

Without jobs to run you’re not covering payroll, rent, insurance, workers comp, and other monthly fixed costs – let alone growing the business. 

·  Is your quoting reliant on the expertise of senior estimators?

Consider what happens to this tribal knowledge when that person leaves or retires – it most likely heads out to the golf course with him.  Either that or you’re left with an obsolete set of instructions to “call this number for material prices and go see this person in this department to figure out machine run times then go there to ask about grinding costs”.

·  Are profits booming?

If your shop is operating at full capacity, if stakeholders are thrilled, and profitability is through the roof then by all means stick with what’s working.

Remember, the dreaded sound of silence is anything but relaxing when it involves your shop floor. If machines are sitting idle for any length of time, and if your lender or stakeholders aren’t thrilled – then it’s probably time to take a long hard look at your sales tools, process, and profitability.

Step 2: Commit to change.

Unlike that new pair of shoes, uncomfortable can be a good thing for business. Even change designed to make things easy won’t always be easy.  And it’s safe to assume that estimators who have been performing their magic for any number of years may be threatened by change. There is after all value and a certain level of job security in their experience, expertise, and intellectual capital.

Automated quoting is a game-changer.  With the capacity to double or even triple the number of quotes that go out the door, estimators can have a measurable and sustained impact on the business. Commit to your investment and watch how things change.

Step 3. Choose your partner.

Now that you’ve broken the news to Excel it’s time to choose a new partner. Your software provider should have the resources and ability to construct a customized platform to ensure your success. 

Here are a few things to look for in a sheet metal estimating software provider:

·  Practical experience within the fabrication industry.

·  Relationships and experience to provide seamless integration with ERP and other accounting and manufacturing systems.

·  Implementation services to get your team up and running quickly.

·  Radically responsive support.

SecturaSOFT is widely recognized as the leading provider of sheet metal estimating software. In real-time, SecturaSOFT populates estimates with the latest material prices, calculates run times, factors in secondary operations and other variables.  No longer is your selling process delayed while tracking down hard-to-find information or held hostage to the schedule of others.

What’s more, automated quoting expands your resources by allowing non-experts to create quotes. Because the process is standardized, and the system is pulling the information electronically, quoting isn’t the sole domain of a select few.  Democratized quoting allows companies to reassign non-sales staff as needed to grow sales.

Your New Best Friend

At one time paper-based processes gave way to Excel.  Today spreadsheets are yielding to digital quoting.  Companies with deep attachments to traditional estimating processes should cut ties with Excel before customers cut ties with them.

With levels of automation and connectivity that are not attainable with Excel, paper-based spreadsheets, or other manual methods, metal estimating software is turning heads and opening the door to greater sales and profitability.

Let us show you how to make Excel your “X”.

We built SecturaFAB for metal fabricators just like you – check it out!

 

 

 

 

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