Automating the sheet metal estimating process can be overwhelming. However, forgoing sheet metal estimating software and continuing to quote in Excel can pose undue risk to your fab shop, your employees, and your customers.
Sheet metal estimating software that works closely with you to determine how your shop costs each step of a job helps you understand how you approach quoting and design a process that’s right for you. This ensures that you:
- Get the true cost of your parts
- Can determine the right price for jobs
- Are quoting and estimating as efficiently as possible
- See how your costs are produced
- Can establish and override a host of variables you may utilize to achieve market pricing
Notably, sheet metal estimating software ensures that risks are mitigated far more than when estimating is done via Excel.
The Dark Side of Estimating Sheet Metal Parts in Excel
Excel is still a very popular way of approaching estimating sheet metal parts. However, there are downsides to doing so:
- You’ll be bogged down by manual data entry. With Excel, you often times enter in the same data multiple times. This wastes time and leaves you prone to human error.
- There’s no good way to track revisions. If the job you’re quoting requires more than one revision, saving and tracking multiple versions of spreadsheets for every sale invariably leads to someone saving the wrong version and mistakenly sending it out to a prospect or customer.
- Prices can be outdated. When multiple quoting spreadsheets are left floating around for people to reference, your estimator can’t be sure that the one they’re using is accurate. Hunting people down to confirm information is a waste of everyone’s time.
There are countless other downsides of quoting sheet metal parts with Excel. To understand the gravity of the negative consequences, think about the risks associated with quoting with Excel:
- Not getting to or losing the most important quotes
- Tremendous pressure on estimators to not make a mistake
- Making errors that cost the company profit
- Customer confusion and frustration
Want to see how our approach to quoting sheet metal parts works?
Custom part fabrication requires a flexible solution that adapts to the ever-changing designs, material prices, material availability, and resources at your shop.
Sheet metal estimating software provides solutions that go beyond eliminating manual data entry, tracking revisions, and keeping consistent pricing. It can act as a control for a variety of risks that could materialize at your shop.
“With the Paperless Parts platform in place, the team no longer worries about making costly mistakes. An initial inputting error on a quote they generated recently could have cost them nearly $40,000, but they were able to quickly identify the error and fix the quote.” READ MORE >>
7 Ways Sheet Metal Estimating Software Mitigates Risk
Let’s dive into some of the capabilities that enable a sheet metal estimating software like Paperless Parts to double as a risk management tool:
- Standardization of the quoting process across all estimators
- Simple repeat part lookup
- The ability to codify existing pricing methodology and formulas
- Guardrails and approvals are built into the system
- Automatic flags for manufacturing warnings
- Observability and pro-active management of RFQ pipeline
- Traceability of cost drivers for each unique RFQ
At a higher level, features like these give sheet metal fabricators the ability to quickly identify the most important quotes, ensure consistency, automate manual steps to save time and energy, maintain high confidence levels throughout the quoting process, and make fewer overall mistakes. Ultimately, this often leads to an increased win-rate and higher profit margins.
Want to see how Paperless Parts can help you manage risk today?