Nuria Amescoa, Software Engineer of Lantek
Currently, one of the most common processes used in quoting is carrying out a complete simulation, including nesting, which poses several drawbacks. First, is the length of time it takes to carry out a complete nesting with the desired configuration of the machine, as well as choosing the material to be used, and other auxiliary configurations. In addition, a lot of time is spent cleaning the geometries before being able to include these parts in a quote.
Customers need an agile and simple quoting process otherwise they may become impatient which can lead to canceled quotes or even incorrect preparation.
Moreover, this form of quoting requires the salesperson preparing the quote to have technical skills to perform the nesting. If the salesperson doesn’t have these skills, a technical engineer has to take over the quoting process, which makes it even more complicated and expensive.
Finally, the customer needs a quoting system that considers all key factors. The consistency of the pricing is also questionable, since the final price will depend on certain rather subjective parameters that are not always representative of the actual manufacturing process that will take place later. All these circumstances can result in a subjective cost estimate.
Using the geometry file of the part as a starting point, Lantek offers a solution that provides a consistent framework for calculating each part. If we add historical knowledge of material optimization and required machining time this can provide a consistent cost calculation independent of the rest of quoted parts. In turn, this will result in a greater approximation of what the actual manufacturing will involve without the need for a lengthy process such as carrying out nesting.
In the same way, the system facilitates a series of parameterizations related to the costs of all resources, as well as an advanced rates system, which allows an ABC analysis of customers and types of services.
These quoting tools will speed up the process and will enable a salesperson to carry out the quoting process regardless of their technical skills. Moreover, it will ensure the price calculation is consistent because the same criteria will always be used. It will also eliminate the need for a CAD/CAM license for quoting, resulting in a cost estimate that is as objective as possible.
From the moment the customer asks for a quote they must send the part files for validation before the subcontractor can provide a comprehensive quote. When we look at the time required for each task to ensure an accurate quote we see it takes a tremendous amount of time.
Also, once the quote is accepted by the customer, following up the order through phones calls or by e-mail can be very complicated.
To solve these problems, Lantek offers a new solution for subcontractors to be able to offer a quoting service to their customers through an e-commerce application. This enables the entire quote request process to be carried out online from loading the files with the parts to be quoted, followed by the configuration of the parts indicating the material, the quantity and the processes to be applied to them. It is also possible to choose the shipping method allowing different options and invoicing information. The end quote is sent to the customer quickly and the user of the application can accept or reject said quote with a single click.
Finally, once the quote is accepted, the user will be able to consult the status of the order online and will be able to access all the associated information, as well as the invoices generated.
This system saves a lot of steps and a lot of time in the communication between the customer and the subcontractor, simplifying the quoting process and offering the customer feedback and follow-up of all accepted quotes.