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6 Frequently Asked Questions About Sheet Metal Cost Estimating

6 Frequently Asked Questions About Sheet Metal Cost Estimating

Are you a sheet metal fabricator who constantly grapples with the challenges of cost estimation? If so, you’re not alone. Sheet metal cost estimating can be a complex and time-consuming task, often leaving fabricators searching for answers to common questions. In this blog post, we’ll address six frequently asked questions about cost estimating for sheet metal parts, and introduce you to a solution that can help streamline your estimating process and make your life easier as an estimator.

Sheet Metal Cost Estimating: FAQs

1. What is a good sheet metal manufacturing labor and material cost algorithm?

Determining the right labor and material cost algorithm can be tricky. It depends on various factors such as the complexity of the project, materials used, and the skill level of your workforce. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, using advanced software like Paperless Parts can help you rapidly calculate raw material costing by unfolding sheet metal components, vectorizing PDFs, and generating nests.

2. How can I calculate man-hours for custom metal fabrication work?

Man-hour calculations require careful consideration of the project’s scope and intricacies. With Paperless Parts’ intuitive tools, you can easily input project details and generate precise man-hour estimates, saving you valuable time and ensuring your quotes are accurate. You can easily reconfigure your bill of materials (BOM) to match your shop’s specific manufacturing process using the automatic BOM generator.

3. How can I hire a new estimator?

Finding the right estimator for your sheet metal shop can be challenging. It’s difficult to train someone on a skill that requires a wealth of tribal knowledge and experience. The Paperless Parts platform provides you with comprehensive training resources and onboarding support for new estimators, helping you build a proficient team. The platform is easy to learn and use, making your onboarding process quick and simple.

4. What are some ways to speed up my RFQ response time?

Responding to requests for quotes (RFQs) promptly is crucial in winning new business. A recent study reported that 67% of buyers expect an RFQ response in less than 24 hours. Investing in estimating software like Paperless Parts speeds up your RFQ process by allowing you to quickly generate accurate quotes, giving you a competitive edge in the market. Our software can automatically generate BOMs and pull in purchase component pricing to streamline the estimating process for complex assemblies. You can also securely communicate with your team and enable real-time updates and visibility across your entire estimating process to speed up the time it takes to respond to RFQs.

5. How can I maximize my shop’s win rate?

To boost your shop’s win rate, you need to provide competitive quotes and exceptional service. Sheet metal cost estimating software like Paperless Parts helps you ensure your quotes are both precise and timely, increasing your chances of winning. Our SmartRFQ form makes it easy for a potential buyer to submit an RFQ with a seamless and simple user experience. The software’s built-in manufacturability warnings analyze geometric features and offer 25 configurable manufacturability checks to ensure your quotes are accurate and undue risk isn’t being introduced to your shop.

6. What is the best sheet metal quoting tool?

The market offers several quoting tools, but Paperless Parts stands out as a comprehensive solution that addresses all of your sheet metal cost estimating needs. With features designed to simplify complex calculations and streamline your workflow, it’s the most comprehensive choice when looking for a platform to help with cost estimating for sheet metal.

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How Paperless Parts Can Help You Estimate

Paperless Parts offers a robust software solution specifically designed for sheet metal fabricators. The platform simplifies the cost estimating process, helping you save time and increase accuracy.

Here are some highlighted key benefits:

Streamlined Estimation: Paperless Parts eliminates the need to manually calculate many equations in your estimating process, making it easier to generate more accurate quotes, faster.

Onboarding Support: Paperless Parts provides a team of platform experts throughout the duration of your partnership to help you get up to speed (and get others up to speed) efficiently.

Quick RFQ Response: Paperless Parts helps you respond to RFQs faster so you get a seat at the table, giving your shop a chance to win more business.

Improved Win Rate: With the ability to strategically price, follow up on quotes, communicate with buyers, and return quotes faster, Paperless Parts users win more work and drive up their revenue.

Don’t just take our word for it; check out our case studies to learn how Paperless Parts has transformed the sheet metal fabrication industry.


Sheet metal cost estimating doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right people and technology, you can streamline your processes, save time, and win more business.

Give your sheet metal fabrication business the competitive edge it deserves.

Schedule your free custom demo with Paperless Parts today.