How many of you have estimated a job and wonder how anyone could do it any cheaper and make money? Well your not alone in your thinking. There are manufacturers that are using reverse auctions in order to try to get more work and pick up new customers. The problem is when you have a buyer that is 100% fixated on the price and ignoring the many other many factors presents a difficult problem.
Manufacturing efficiency is one of the areas where you can compete for jobs. One example I heard of this past week is a large government contract was one by a supplier because of price. This machine shop could have produced this widget by manually punching the part, but they decided to spend some extra money up front and create a die for the job. This machine shop had the technical expertise to create the die when two other machine tool makers would not make for them. This machine shop is now able to make these parts very efficiently and one the job because all the other shops that competed with him did not base their quote on a die.
This tells us that manufacturing parts efficiently can overcome many other issues of price during the bidding stage. Some ways that manufacturing can be more efficient is automatic loaders, robotic welders, automated punch presses, lasers, business software, cad software, estimating software and many other areas.
In this economy I would suggest looking at all your machines and capabilities to try to determine where they can be made more efficient.
MIE Solutions provides software products to make your business process more efficient so please take a look at our product line below.