After fifteen years in software sales, operations and other leadership positions, Kyle Cleaver was ready for a new challenge. And so, he naturally purchased a metal fabrication shop. Nothing overly noteworthy about that; except for the fact that he had no previous experience in the industry whatsoever.
“My father-in-law has been very successful in fabrication and manufacturing for the past 40 years. In speaking with him I began to investigate the industry; and the more I learned, the more I interested I became.” And so, in 2019, Cleaver purchased AmTech Manufacturing (Fort Worth, TX).
With over 30 years of combined experience in the Metal Fabrication industry, AmTech provides a wide variety of services ranging from fiber and CO2 laser cutting, bending, milling, welding, and painting to powder coating. The company serves customers throughout such industries as Industrial Machinery, Oil & Gas, Automotive/Trucking, Construction, Healthcare Warehouse/Retail and so on.
Hitting the Margins
Although Cleaver acquired an established and reputable company with an arsenal of equipment, there remained plenty of challenges. Not the least of which was the quoting process. Because Cleaver himself would be responsible for estimating and sales, he sat down with a long-time industry veteran to learn the process.
“I saw quotes being created based largely on subjective experience. There seemed to be no consistent formula for determining machine run times, material costs, labor costs and other variables. I knew that it would be extremely difficult for me to consistently hit the margins I needed to run the business without an accurate and repeatable quoting process.” With a software background Cleaver knew that an automated and objective quoting solution would provide much needed simplicity and consistency. He just needed to know where to find it.
Quoting speed, accuracy and consistency is vital for any business; and with all its unknown variables and moving targets this is no simple task for even experienced fabricators. In this business the first bid in generally wins; but speed without accuracy can spell disaster for the bottom line. Bids that do not accurately reflect costs may win you the battle but will lose the war.
Kyle happened to see a SecturaSOFT quoting software demonstration. As he watched Cleaver became convinced that this automated solution was his answer. He has been using SecturaSOFT for about four months and averages about thirty quotes a week. “SecturaSOFT allows me to set profit margins and generate bids automatically, he explained. “I highly recommend the software. Additionally, the SecturaSOFT support team is readily available and eager to help. I highly recommend the software to anyone who cuts metal for a living.”
How SecturaSOFT Helps
Most organizations rely on years of tribal knowledge, outdated excel sheets, and overall educated guessing to create quotes and estimates. However, for companies looking to grow or train new employees, it can take years to pass along this knowledge. This is where AmTech was able to leverage SecturaSOFT quoting software.
While Kyle had great support from the previous owner and support of others in the industry, he knew the learning curve would be steep. In addition, he recognized that to be successful he would need to turn quotes around faster than his competitors while maintaining extreme accuracy. Kyle reached out to SecturaSOFT who was able to have him quoting in a few days as accurate as the most tenured estimator.
SecturaSOFT has created an environment specifically designed with the fabrication industry. It is built with an easy to use interface, a powerful customized estimating engine, and leading sales tools not accessible in other platforms. This means employees with little experience can create winning quotes in no time. What’s more, these same employees will grow the business by turning around 4-5 times the number of quotes as a typical estimator.
AmTech recently added a new Amada fiber laser and is looking to SecturaSOFT to keep that, and other, machines running. Scalable, consistent and sustainable, SecturaSOFT allows Cleaver to concentrate on running the business confident that the quotes he sends are competitive and meet the needed margins.
“Anyone can lowball the competition and win the job,” concluded Cleaver. “The key is to turn a profit; and with SecturaSOFT I don’t have to be an expert or have years of experience to create winning profitable quotes.”