For manufacturers, fabricators, and, welders throughout Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario the name Brunswick Steel is synonymous with quality and service. Like most other metal service centers, the company offers a full range of raw materials including plate, sheet metal, tubing, rebar and more. But what sets this company apart is its value-added metal processing services, a reputation for quality products and service, and a willingness to go the extra mile. For Brunswick Steel, business as usual means unmatched service, quality and responsiveness.
The lights are always on at this Winnipeg-based service center where equipment, technology and a skilled labor force are focused on meeting the high expectations and tight delivery schedules of a growing customer-base. With oxyfuel, hi-definition plasma, CO2 and fiber laser cutting capabilities (complete with automated material tower) Brunswick’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility operates around the clock seven days a week. And while automation was clearly being leveraged throughout the shop floor, the same could not be said of the company’s sales and estimating departments where manual quoting remained the norm.
In this industry generating winning quotes often requires a certain level of skill and experience. Traditionally parts might be measured, material prices tracked down, and estimates gathered for machine run-time, cleaning, painting, labor and shipping costs factored in. For too many fab shops, job shops, and metal service centers the process remains largely based on the inherent knowledge (and a little guesswork) of senior estimators or salespersons. This limitation directly impacts the speed at which a quote can be created, the number of quotes that can be generated in a day, week or year – and ultimately the organization’s profitability.
“In our case job estimating relied almost solely on Excel spreadsheets,” explained Brunswick Steel Sales Manager, Dallas McInnes. “Our quoting process was complex, manually intensive and required a certain level of experience and expertise. Consequently quotes were not being created in a timely or consistent manner.”
Quoting speed, accuracy and consistency is vital for any business; and with all of its unknown variables and moving targets this is no simple task for 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.
For Brunswick Steel and a growing number of others throughout the industry, the answer to generating fast, winning and profitable quotes came in the form of a software program called SecturaFAB from SecturaSOFT (www.secturasoft.com). Brunswick began using SecturaFAB’s quoting module in 2017 and the results were immediate.
“Automation is the key,” said McInnes. “In the past quoting was limited to a select few individuals. With SecturaFAB we are able to democratize the process allowing non-experts to create fast and accurate quotes. SecturaFAB takes a highly skilled task and reduces it to a task that others can confidently take on.” Brunswick began using SecturaFAB with four users. Today, because of the software’s success, the company is extending use of the software throughout its sales staff.
While Brunswick leverages the software widely, McInnes finds it especially useful in dealing with large DXF packages. But faster, more accurate quotes and software performance aren’t the only things that McInnes likes about his new quoting system. “In the software business everyone preaches service; but SecturaSOFT actually delivers. For example, we requested a modification to the software and SecturaSOFT had the changes to us that same night. At Brunswick we pride ourselves on responsiveness and doing whatever it takes for our customers,” concluded McInnes. “In SecturaSOFT we’ve clearly found a partner that has this same set of values.”