Expanding Australian metal fabrication specialist, J&T Steel Sales, has found that improved productivity and new equipment is only half the battle to boost customer service and sales – equally important is eliminating the outdated processes used to track and prepare quotes, delivery, and invoices.
J&T Steel Sales began as a small plate processing business in Victoria with a CNC Plasma machine, where staff used spreadsheets to develop quotes for customers, but the company has now made the move into the high demand laser cutting market.
Part of the motivation for the expansion was a need in the market for better lead times on laser cut metal products, including aluminium, stainless steel, and carbon steel.
“We had customers come and beg us to purchase a laser machine, because they were fed up with the long lead times that were becoming increasingly common for laser cut products,” explains Luke Patterson, Operations Manager, J&T Steel Sales.
“So we invested in a laser cutting machine, and prepared to grow our business to the next level. But with this change, we needed a quick and efficient software solution to export a presentable quote that we can forward directly to customers in a timely fashion. Spreadsheets just weren’t going to work anymore, so we did some research and found ToolBox, by Tempus Tools,” he said.
Laser cutting quoting software streamlines operations
ToolBox, by Tempus Tools, is a multi-functional laser cutting quoting software that is provided using a SaaS (Software as a Service) model. ToolBox was developed specifically for the laser cutting industry, and is designed to save job shops time, and make quoting more efficient, accurate, and consistent.
“ToolBox has allowed us to streamline not only the quoting aspect, but also the tracking of active orders as well as invoicing,” says Luke.
“It has been able to take most of the heavy lifting in cutting back on excess paper waste in our offices, whilst also creating a digital paper trail to be able to track material usage and stock.”
Since purchasing the laser cutting machine, J&T Steel Sales has committed to getting customers their parts when they need them, calling it “the J&T Guarantee”.
“ToolBox has helped us immensely in delivering this guarantee to our customers. It has taken the stresses and late night quoting crunches and completely streamlined the process, freeing up more time for us to be able to focus on growing the business,” says Luke.
“In the past, expanding our customer base meant we would fall increasingly behind when it came to invoicing and quoting. Now, with ToolBox, we really feel we have found a software that not only services us now, but also allows us room to grow in the future.”
Service is key
Luke explains that in his business, customer service is the key to success. Customers have good memories, and they value pricing consistency, accuracy, and reliability.
“Being a service-focused business, it’s something I look for in our suppliers too. In my opinion, the Tempus Tools team has been exceptional when it comes to responsiveness and availability to work through any challenges I’m experiencing,” he says.
“Coming from a small business ourselves it was an incredibly refreshing experience to have team members visit our workshop, and to also feel listened to when it came to our concerns or feedback for the future development of ToolBox.”
“I met Mark Washington (Sales & Support) and Felipe Lechuga (Director) from Tempus Tools at a local manufacturing expo earlier this year, and they took the time to visit our job shop and discuss the functionality of ToolBox, and what more it could be doing for us. I was very impressed, and I’m grateful for all the support.”
A bright future
J&T Steel Sales has seen steady growth since moving into the laser cutting business, and Luke has plans to continue this trend.
“Our future plans are not only to focus on bringing in new customers – ideally ones that require repeat work – but also to let all our customers know about our bending and fabrication facility, so they know we can provide an end-to-end manufacturing solution,” he says.
“ToolBox has a huge range of useful features, and the development team is always working on new functionality that can benefit job shops like ours, so it is a key component of our growth plans.”