Sheet metal estimating and quoting can be a very time-consuming task, which can play a role in determining a job shop’s profitability.
Have you found it difficult to respond to a customer’s Request For Quote (RFQ) quickly? Do you want to find a solution to minimise the necessary administrative steps when it comes to estimating and quoting?
Many businesses are now finding success in utilising automated sheet metal estimating software to respond to an RFQ efficiently and accurately.
There are various types of sheet metal estimating software that you can find on the market. So what is the best and most efficient practice for your job shop?
We’ve made it easier for you with a guide to the various types of software you can purchase, and how they work.
4 Types Of Sheet Metal Estimating Software
- Computer-Aided Designing (CAD) Software Add-Ons
Skilled engineers may be comfortable working with 3D CAD models or 2D CAD files. CAD software does come with options for estimating, but they require a high cost of investment in terms of software, training, and labour.
A 2D software licence is required for all CAD work, and then 3D is an add-on to work with 3D models. Even once this is all set up, the user still has to identify which parts to develop, ready for estimating.
Producing an end quote can sometimes be a bit tricky due to the fact that margins need to be set and a majority of CAD software does not allow for the use of building sheet layouts and nestings. Therefore, in most cases, the accuracy can be very restricted.
- Computer-Aided Machining (CAM) Software (As An Add-On)
CAM software is based on a specified process, such as laser cutting. Quoting CAD files for laser cutting using CAM software requires utilising the established plans of the machines as a rule for the total time and material, which is calculated into an end price. Such quoting is in need of a lot of direct work and is only focused on a particular processing operation at a time. Quoting CAD files for laser cutting with CAM software can sometimes lead to an overly complicated excel sheet that is unable to be integrated into the entirety of your business.
The solution to quoting CAD files for laser cutting with CAM software is to incorporate an add-on on top. This way, you are able to add multiple additional processing steps, and it provides you with the ability to export your quote from the software directly to the customer. But this is an expensive way to arrive at this solution.
- Allocated On-Premise Quoting Software
Another system for quoting sheet metal parts from a 3D model is to use a dedicated on-premise quoting software. This is similar to CAM software and is designed to provide a quote estimation of various working steps. It provides a comprehensive solution regardless of the type of machine you are using. The software bundles offered within such software are customisable and configurable.
On-premise quoting solutions typically require a larger upfront capital investment, and staff usually need to be experienced in how to customise and configure the software. The business is also responsible for cybersecurity, which is becoming an increasing concern, as cyber criminals increase their attacks globally. In contrast, a cloud-based solution provider would handle all the customisation, configurations, and security elements.
- Online Quoting Software (Cloud-Based)
When quoting sheet metal parts from a 3D model or 2D file, an online cloud-based quoting software is very beneficial. This type of sheet metal quoting software can minimise errors and offer precise quotes and prices to customers instantaneously.
It can also authorise customers to receive quotes for customised orders without the need to stand by for a sales rep’s response. This method can allow a customer to upload their 3D model or 2D CAD file, along with the specialised product requirements. A CAM software will then examine the necessities of the product and then calculate the price.
Quoting online has been a very popular and successful way to attract new customers as well as reaffirm business for metal fabrication companies.
- ToolBox: Your All-In-One (Cloud-Based) Laser Quoting Solution
Streamline your laser cutting quoting process with Tempus Tools’ sheet metal estimating software!
With 100+ years of combined experience in the laser industry, our deep industry knowledge and expertise have provided us with a true understanding of both the challenges faced and the opportunities available for our customers.
We understand that each job shop operates in its own way and has different challenges to address. We know that one size does not fit all, which is why ToolBox has over 100 different features – all included – to suit the different needs of different job shops.
We’re passionate about designing innovative solutions to see laser businesses running as effectively and efficiently through the realisation of technology. Our team of highly skilled professionals have a shared desire to deliver positive results for our clients and their customers. This has allowed us to develop the essential tools that every estimator should have access to.
Tempus Tools offer job shops an easy-to-use digital tool kit to help you quickly calculate and prepare accurate and consistent quotes. Don’t waste your time spending hours creating manual quotes. Reduce it to quotes created in under 2 minutes with ToolBox, by Tempus Tools.