Quoting and estimating software can be found in many products. One of the industries that have the most estimating software packages is construction where you see a plethora of options available. Job shop estimating software is also common but it is usually tied directly into the companies ERP/MRP system. MIE QuoteIt from MIE Solutions has an estimating package available that can be linked to different ERP systems because it uses SQL Server which many systems can extra the data from.
MIE Solutions developed MIE QuoteIt as a system as a system specifically designed for sheet metal job shops but has now expanded into a wide variety of manufacturing plants because of the unique ability to create customized formula's. Customizing your formulas for how you want to quote creates consistency within your company.
A simple example is countersinking. One way to create a consistent formula is using a formula like # Of Holes To Countersink divided by 3
(NUMBER OF COUNTER SINKS)/3
This is the exact formula you would create if you were wanting counter sinks to be costed at 20 seconds per countersink.
You can make a more complicated example which would be as shown below where we do not fix the number of seconds per minute but rather change it dynamically.
(NUMBER OF COUNTER SINKS)/(COUNTERS SINKS PER MINUTE)
The negative to the 2nd approach is you get back to the consistency of estimating where different people would not come up with the same figure.
Another more refined option is to not ask for the speed but ask for the size where the speed would be pre-populated based on the size of the countersink being created. MIE QuoteIt will actually allow you to create tables to create consistent quotes and estimates without opinion of the estimator because the thickness and size of the countersink is not a guess.
In the next few blogs I will go into detail on some different formulas and how to create them in order to not guess when estimating.