Leverage Digital Technology to Transform the Manufacturing Quoting Process
Manufacturers that utilize next-generation quoting technology can dramatically reduce quoting time and improve operational efficiency.
While advancements in CNC machining technology continue to offer manufacturers tremendous increases in efficiency, the evolution of quoting technology has been considerably slower. Indeed, one of the great ironies in manufacturing is that while parts can move through production faster than ever, many shops are still bottlenecked during estimating, before parts ever hit the shop floor.
For some manufacturers, the quoting process can take anywhere from two to eight hours for a single part—as was the case for Hirsh Precision Products (Hirsh), a CNC machining company based in Boulder, CO.
Hirsh was using outdated quoting software and missing key business opportunities because their quotes were taking so long to produce. “Today’s buyers want to move quickly,” said Steve Hirsh, VP of Engineering for Hirsh, highlighting the critical importance of speeding up the quoting process.
The company had previously invested in upgrading its machining technology, but it needed a more modern quoting process to fully take advantage of its capabilities.
Benefits of Next Generation Manufacturing Quoting Technology
Hirsh set out to find the most advanced quoting platform available and ultimately selected Paperless Parts. Since implementing Paperless Parts quoting software in July of 2019, Hirsh has maximized the efficiency of its quoting process through gains in several distinct areas:
1. Leveraging legacy quoting data
Many manufacturers have decades worth of valuable quoting data that can be used when generating future quotes, ensuring accuracy and profitability. However when that data is tracked in a legacy software system—or, worse, on paper—it’s disorganized and difficult to access.
When transitioning to next-generation quoting software, Hirsh knew they needed to somehow leverage their past quoting data so that it could better inform their future quotes.
“Paperless Parts sped up our quoting process and leveraged all of our historic data,” Hirsh said. Within the Paperless Parts platform, Hirsh consolidated their legacy quoting data so that estimators can now search and find past quotes, similar parts, and customer data with a few simple clicks.
In fact, the Paperless Parts quoting platform adapted to Hirsh’s workflow and even incorporated specific data on geometric features to power its pricing formulas. These new pricing formulas have helped Hirsh save considerable time when calculating the cost of making parts.
2. Speeding up the internal quoting process
Hirsh’s legacy quoting software required in-depth, specialized training to be able to operate it correctly. After switching to the Paperless Parts quoting platform, the Hirsh team found that the user-friendly interface was far more accessible. More employees were able to be trained and can now contribute to the quoting process.
With Paperless Parts, Hirsh team members can easily access pricing templates to revise and copy quotes quickly, drastically reducing the time it takes to generate a new quote. “A few extra minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, but it makes a huge difference with our customers . . . it was important that we prioritized turnaround time,” said Hirsh.
Since implementing Paperless Parts, Hirsh has reduced the time they take to complete a quote by an average of 3.75 hours. In total, the company saved more than 2,000 hours of quoting time in 2020.
3. Streamlining customer communication
Paperless Parts provides Hirsh customers and employees a single channel of communication to interact, view parts, share DFM ideas, and take measurements from CAD models.
Hirsh customers appreciate the convenience and personal touch this centralized communication channel provides. Estimators can send digital quotes with notes for customers and even track when the quotes have been viewed. The top-notch customer service and streamlined communication increase the company’s chances of winning more business.
With younger generations of engineers and product designers expecting faster quotes and more personalized customer service, job shops have an imperative to adapt accordingly. Hirsh is just one of many job shops that are breaking free of outdated quoting processes to move forward into the next generation of quoting technology.
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