You’ve finally keyed in the last piece of information into your costing spreadsheet – after days of back and forth with suppliers – and submitted your quote to the client. Unfortunately, another supplier was able to do it faster – and they were awarded the job.
The reality is, time isn’t the only factor distributors and manufacturers are grappling with. Capturing all your cost drivers in one place is no easy task. Costing information can come from a variety of sources, including BOM information from your ERP system. Fluctuating component and commodity costs and multiple currencies only serve to add more complexity to an already dynamic process. To make matters even more challenging, all this information needs to be delivered to your customers in less time than ever before. Taking your requirements beyond the capabilities of trusty Microsoft Excel.
If all of this is being manually input into a spreadsheet, the likelihood of errors increases, leading to inaccurate costs which may be too high, or too low. Not an optimal outcome in either scenario. While electronic spreadsheets have brought your business this far, it may be time to take a closer look at the needs of your business, customers, and suppliers and consider that your quoting process may need an overhaul. Here are some reasons to consider:
Excel spreadsheets create vulnerabilities for organizations in many ways, including ransomware attacks, corruption, or even just human error and accidental deletion. While you can implement security features such as password protection and limiting access, they’re a far cry from the enterprise-level security your business (and customers) need. Quoting software creates a central and secure repository of all quote data, which also allows users to remotely access and use any quote related information securely.
It can take incorrect data in just one cell to totally derail the accuracy of a quote. And its doubtful that your business has an employee available to check every single cell for accuracy.
A securely integrated costing and quoting application is consistent, disciplined and reproducible, helping you understand your quotes better and improve the accuracy of your estimates. It offers a versatile alternative to costly internally developed, divergent spreadsheet and database quotation systems
Keying in data is cumbersome and time-intensive. Add to this, data coming from multiple sources, and in some cases, dealing with fluctuating costs. But doing so manually in spreadsheets adds hours of extra labor and is prone to errors – which could result in more hours wasted in fixing those errors, or worse, lost revenue. There are better things your quoting team could be doing with their time.
Using quoting software to automate these calculations is a simpler and more accurate way to calculate costs for your business. And you’re not just getting faster calculations: with your data plainly laid out for you to see, you can analyze and fine tune your Material, Labor and Overhead costs to support your customer pricing decisions.
The global nature of the quoting process means that there are a lot of players involved, and one that is near impossible to do securely and accurately with spreadsheets.
Quoting software such as QSTRAT puts 100% of your supply chain to work for you. The quote information gathered from your suppliers is channeled directly into the quoting system for fast, easy comparison. And while all this is going on, the sales team has real time visibility of the entire quotation process, eliminating any confusion that could otherwise arise.
Future proof your business
As your business scales, it’s important to start thinking about systemizing the knowledge that powers your business. There are multiple benefits to having your processes systemized and not reliant on specific people, and especially in today’s dynamic world. Knowledge helps your business navigate resource movement and supply chain changes – a task that becomes increasingly more complex and to manage as the business grows. Quotation software makes it easier to systemize your company’s knowledge, ensuring that the knowledge isn’t gone when an employee leaves, and that their replacement isn’t trying to piece systems together through a patchwork of spreadsheets.
With today’s global marketplace, leveraging low-cost suppliers in countries around the world has made the business of sourcing products and services increasingly more complex and challenging. Accessing and communicating with vendors globally also means a lot of work for procurement professionals. The smallest inconsistency can result in dramatic repercussions to your fiscal results.
With the same information available to everyone, employees are working with one set of standardized data, ensuring consistency and accuracy organization-wide. They aren’t relying on assumptions or with outdated information that could lead to job errors
Stay Ahead of Your Competitors
Pulling the correct data from your spreadsheets into relevant charts can take time, and they may not necessarily be tracking all the information needed to make vital business needs.
Without information on time spent, risk areas, bottlenecks, etc., metrics are often hard to generate and inaccurate. Costing software provides organizations the data needed to build metrics to improve process performance, analyze information to assess business, sales, and investment performance.
With your organization laid out for you to see and analyze, managers can easily see how the business today is operating, and what changes can be made to further streamline and improve processes to help maximize revenue.
QSTRAT – An end-to-end sourcing, customer quoting and costing solution
Don’t base your important business decisions on guesswork and error-prone spreadsheets. Give your business the power to make informed decisions based on a smooth and efficient sourcing process to ensure success in the future.
Our customers have been turning to QSTRAT for almost 20 years to improve overall program success. QSTRAT has a global install base that together is processing 1000s of RFQs each day. Multi-nationals like Linamar, Sylvania, Zeiss, Kasai, and Leggett & Platt rely on QSTRAT to accelerate RFQ processing, increase win rates, and improve gross margins.