3 Ways Cost Estimating Software Can Improve Your Machine Shop’s Profits

My Post (14).pngCost estimating software, in a nutshell, helps your machine shop send out estimates or quotes that are consistent and have the right profit margin for your shop. Being able to do this with software makes your life, and the life of your estimator, much easier. Using cost estimating software in an ERP system can help your shop solve inconsistent pricing, make money on jobs, and improve your bottom line.

Solve inconsistent pricing


It’s hard to remember what you’ve quoted on every job your shop has seen. If you don’t quote certain jobs very often, it’s easy to end up giving different prices for the same type of job. A good ERP system will take care of this for you. You won’t have to remember how much you quoted on any particular job because it will be saved in the system. If you want to make a similar quote to one you’ve given in the past, an ERP system will also make that easy for you. All you have to do is pull up that past quote, tell the system you want to make another one like it, and adjust as needed for your current quote. You’ve got too many things to think about, so take memorizing past quotes off of that list. Instead, embrace giving consistent pricing on your shop’s quotes.

Make money on your jobs

The jobs you’re charging the most money for might not be the jobs that make your shop the most profit. It’s hard enough to estimate how much labor and materials will cost, but when you also add in your shop’s overhead, it can be very difficult to give a quote on a job that will be profitable. With ERP software, you can set it to automatically include your shop’s overhead and whatever rate or profit margin you want. That includes having different a rate for rush jobs, repeat customer discount, or anything else.

With a good ERP system, you can quote your jobs with all of this in mind. You can also look at current and past jobs and see how much money you made on them. Sometimes it’s helpful to only look at the profit you made on jobs to understand what kinds of jobs are good for your shop. Looking at profits can also help you decide if you need to change how your shop prices certain jobs.

Improve your bottom line

When your shop has consistent pricing that is designed to make a profit for your shop, your bottom line will grow. With ERP software, you can see how much your bottom line is growing and keep track of how various jobs are doing in your shop. See what jobs help your shop grow and which ones might not. Once you’ve got your shop to this point, you can start to think about other ways you want your shop to grow. Do you need a new machine? Do you want to increase your advertising? Hire more people? With a growing bottom line and the structure in place to support continued growth, you can guide your shop toward the next step, whatever that may be. – Read more

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How to Keep Your Shop Running During the Coronavirus Crisis

My Post (13).pngCOVID-19 has caused a never-seen global response, so it’s difficult to know what your shop should do. You want to make sure your employees and customers are safe, but you also want to keep your shop open as long as you can. How do you balance these things? Below are four questions with possible solutions to help you think about how to manage the coronavirus crisis in your shop.

What Gets Touched in the Shop?

One of the big things to prevent spreading the coronavirus is considering which things are touched most often by many people. Common examples are doorknobs and counters. If your shop uses an ERP system and has one or two computers on the shop floor, those computers are touched by everyone. Another example is the time clock that employees use to clock in and out. Everyone touches them. Once you’ve identified these things in your shop, you need to sanitize and limit contact with them as much as possible.

Sanitizing doorknobs and counters is simple. All you need is anti-bacterial wipes or cleaning supplies and you’re good to go. Computers and time clocks can be a bit more complicated, especially because you can’t get them wet. Here’s where an ERP system can be the solution. If your ERP system mobile apps, then employees can use their phones instead of the shared office computer. For example, employees can use the Employee Data Collection app on their phones to clock in and out. This limits the number of people touching the same device.

The Employee Data Collection app also lets employees update inventory in real-time. It can keep your shop up-to-date and greatly cut down on the number of people using the office computer. It limits the spread of germs if people are using their personal phones. So, mobile apps can help your shop run more smoothly and help prevent the spread of germs.

Can Anyone Work Remotely?

The best way to stop spreading the coronavirus is to avoid contact with other people that could be sick. For some employees in a shop, this isn’t possible. If they don’t come in, they can’t do their jobs. However, for office employees, they may be able to work remotely. If your ERP system is on the cloud, it’s easy for your office employees to log in on a web browser. All they need is an internet connection and they can get to work. Your office employees may also have the option to remote into their work computers, but using the cloud is a much simpler way to work from home.

Can the Shop Floor be Safer?

Your shop floor may meet OSHA requirements, but with the coronavirus, there are different ways to keep your employees safe and healthy. If you have a larger shop, you could stagger start times to every 10 minutes so there aren’t as many people entering the building at once. It’s recommended that people stay six feet apart, but it can be hard to remember that when you’re working. To help employees stay separated, you could put up partitions or use tape as guidelines on the floor. It just needs to be something that stops employees from standing too close together. – Read more

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