When it comes to quoting the first bid in usually wins the job. Consequently, fabricators employing an automated quoting solution are at a big advantage over their manually driven competitors. Now, rather than using a programming team to calculate run-times and nests, a single estimator can do it all. And instead of waiting hours for engineering to properly draw files just to initiate a quote, the finished quote will be out the door.
“We see an impact in three major spaces,” said SecturaSOFT’s Brad Stropes. “Increase in sales with more quotes going out the door. An increase in wins, because your quote is in the inbox of your customer while your competition is drawing files or pre-programming files. Lastly is a decrease in time to deliver, as you are cutting on your customer parts while your competition is still working on final numbers.”
For years fabricators have been focused on fitting multiple parts on a sheet or getting their equipment to move 10% faster. Even when these targets are reached the gains are minimal when compared to winning more jobs. The bottom line is sales are what matter. Simply put, if you can turn a quote around in minutes, throughput will be multiplied by days rather than minutes.
When it comes to increasing margins, battles are often fought with material prices, added services, margins, and hourly rates. All of this is irrelevant compared to getting a bid into the hands of a prospective customer hours or even days ahead of competitors.
Stropes says automated quoting is shown to boost sales by as much as 200% to 300%. In addition, margins will increase with top-notch service, along with the customers you add.
“If a fabricator learned that a piece of equipment would double or even triple business, decrease delivery time by days, and increase margins, they would drop everything to buy it. However, because many fab shops, job shops, and service centers are managed by those who grew up running equipment, they can have a hard time understanding the value of software. Too often companies settle for the lowest cost solution and hope to squeeze whatever they can from it.”
Is ERP the Answer?
Relying on your nesting or ERP provider for sales quoting isn’t the answer. These add-on quoting programs (generally requiring extensive input from engineering, programming, and detailed geometry) only serve to create bottlenecks – not eliminate them. It’s best to employ a solution developed specifically for fabrication-industry quoting.
Sales-minded companies are implementing the SecturaSOFT quoting system to increase sales, throughput, and margins. This digital tool is easy to use and doesn’t require months or even years to obtain a measurable return on investment.
There are add-on quoting solutions on the market that require intervention from programming, engineering, and 3D design software to create quotes. When it comes to high run production, they are adequate solutions. However, because they often require fully engineered drawings, this needlessly slows the quoting process.
SecturaSOFT understands the industry and quoting process and has developed a solution especially for the industry and its estimators. And in an industry where speed and accuracy are paramount, this makes all the difference.