According to The Fabricator, many manufacturers still rely on the combination of pencil, paper and a seasoned employee to produce job shop estimates for customers. While there’s no denying the benefits a knowledgeable worker has, nothing beats a computer when it comes to saving time and getting things right. With the right ERP software, manufacturers can confidently and accurately generate consistent estimates and quotes.

Accurate quotes
ERP software records costs in a consistent manner, and it’s easy for workers to check the numbers to make current estimates. If a customer requests a job similar to one you’ve already completed, you can easily pull up the prior cost predictions, expenses and timelines in order to deliver an accurate quote. What’s more, software keeps rates consistent among a number of estimators, no matter how many your company has. Different experiences lead estimators to deliver different quotes if they work manually, but software produces the same result no matter what

The best ERP software is also flexible. Quotes can be recalculated easily if and when necessary. Should your business face an unexpected setback or the client changes its mind, your employees don’t have to spend precious hours developing new figures. They can just plug the changes into the program and it does the work for them.

It’s important to find a software solution that allows you to adjust specific rates within the estimate, The Fabricator said. For instance, a customer may want an expedited job, and manufacturers need the ability to alter specific rates for it instead of adding a lump cost in the end.

“Instead of just upping the value as an expedited percentage, which you could do, you could actually put in different rates for different types of expedited charges,” David Ferguson, president of software developer MIE Solutions Inc., told the website. “Potentially the machine doesn’t change, but your labor may because the person may be working overtime on the job.”

Timely delivery
ERP software also reduces the time it takes to create and deliver an estimate, which means workers can devote more of their day to other orders. For instance, imagine a customer requests estimates for more than a hundred various parts. Several things could go wrong – the estimator could develop careful and accurate quotes, but the customer might be frustrated by the amount of time that would take. If the estimator rushes, he’s more likely to make a mistake, aggravating the customer and making the company look bad. Even if the estimator is able to deliver an accurate quote in a timely manner, the client may decide to only order some of the parts.

Instead of wasting time with lengthy calculations, ERP software delivers quotes quickly and efficiently. Your workers don’t have to shift through previous job costs and compare prices on parts; the computer does that instead. This also means your company wastes less time should the customer decide not to follow through with an order.

Want to know more about how ERP software produces accurate estimates? Download our “Features & Benefits: Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Job Shops” sheet.

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