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A Recipe for Success: Cost Estimating Software for Manufacturing

A Recipe for Success: Cost Estimating Software for Manufacturing

The process of cost estimating for manufacturing is complex. To make matters worse, many manufacturing job shops make the mistake of treating costing and pricing the same, overlooking the science behind costing. Costing involves a comprehensive analysis of all elements involved in the production of a product, from raw materials to overhead costs. This critical process demands meticulous attention to detail to ensure that every aspect of the production is accounted for, making costing both time-consuming and risky if not done properly. Utilizing cost estimating software for manufacturing makes the process easier and speeds up quote turnaround times to ensure buyers are presented with an accurate quote, quickly.

Before we explore how a software solution can help, let’s break down the science behind cost estimating and understand the basic factors to consider when associating costs with a job.

cost estimating - paperless parts

A Recipe for Success

You can think of costing like building recipe for success: you want your final product to be perfect, so you need to bake in the right ingredients, accounting for all the right steps along the way. 

Here is a comprehensive list of factors to consider while estimating the cost of a job; your “ingredient list” if you will:

Admin time: Order processing and vendor management.

Raw materials: Cost of materials to include scrap and cutting to size.

Yield: How many setup parts needed to achieve the required quantity.

Programming time and engineering: Time to build the CAM package. 

Fixturing/setup time: Preparing a machine to run a job.

Tooling costs: Special tooling and wear on existing tools.

Machine runtime: Cycle time on the machine (i.e. attended vs. not). 

Quality Assurance (QA): ensuring critical tolerances meet required specifications.

Secondary processes: Outside finishing services, such as deburring, painting, or heat treating.

Shipping preparation and shipment: Packaging costs and time and carrier service fees.

Overhead and profit: Allocation of fixed costs to consider utilization of assets. 

Building out the perfect recipe requires a reliable and efficient solution that enables fast and accurate cost calculations. 

Create Your Recipe Using Cost Estimating Software for Manufacturing

The risk of losing money on a job due to inaccurate cost calculations is significantly higher without the implementation of a software solution. The time-consuming nature of costing, if not managed properly, can divert valuable resources away from core business activities, such as selling to new customers and fulfilling orders. Cost estimating software for manufacturing addresses these challenges head-on. 

How Paperless Parts Can Help

Paperless Parts offers a reliable software solution specifically tailored to the unique needs of job shop manufacturers. The platform enables faster and more accurate cost estimating with features that will help your shop streamline your cost estimating process.

Here’s how:

  • Tailoring the software to your shop: At Paperless Parts, we take the necessary time to understand your shop’s unique variables and set you up for success by customizing the platform to your shop’s specific processes, materials, machines, etc.
  • Automatic BOM building: A large percentage of the time spent calculating cost is wasted organizing your bill of materials. Paperless Parts creates your BOM automatically by extracting tree structures from your CAD files and allowing you to easily edit and organize assemblies.
  • Flagging manufacturability warnings: Paperless Parts analyzes 3D CAD files based on various manufacturing processes like CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, and additive manufacturing. It then identifies potential issues like deep holes that require special tooling based on your shop’s customized capability settings. The ability to catch these manufacturability warnings before sending out a quote can save you from losing money on jobs.
  • Streamlined workflows & collaboration: Paperless Parts enables your team to have real-time visibility anywhere at any time. Your team can highlight features or measurements on 3D models or prints to identify key distinctions that will affect your costing strategy. 

By separating costing and pricing, Paperless Parts ensures the integrity of cost calculations, providing long-term insight and consistency. The software also keeps costing variables up to date for new or repeat quotes, reducing the risk of errors and oversights.

Manufacturers looking to achieve that perfect recipe can schedule a free custom demo with Paperless Parts today.

Curious to learn more about cost estimating software?