JWM Metaalservice from Oisterwijk (The Netherlands) has been able to significantly increase its production capacity by optimizing its project approach. But more capacity doesn’t necessarily mean that you will always get the production line completely filled. The bottleneck here is often the quotation application process and work preparation. By implementing the Quotation Factory’s quotation software, a big step has been taken to get production running at full speed.
Spending less time on estimates and work preparation
Anyone who works within the metalworking industry knows the issue that quotations are very labor intensive and do not always result in an order. By making the quotation process less labor-intensive, more quotations can be created, keeping the production line optimally filled. The smart software of the Quotation Factory ensures that quotations are ready within minutes, and as soon as they are confirmed by the client, even the work preparation is already largely complete.
That’s because of the integration with LVD’s CADMAN-B press brake software, which also automates the generation of layouts and programs for the press brakes. What used to be time-consuming and specialized work is now almost entirely automated.
A large range of metal workings made the quotation process complex
To relieve the customer as much as possible, JWM Metaalservice has in recent years greatly expanded the range of metalworking operations that can be performed in-house. These include laser cutting, tube laser cutting, edging, turning, milling, assembly and welding. But as the metalworking supply expanded, so too did the quotations become more complex and labor-intensive.
The implementation of a new ERP system provided an efficient flow of information throughout the company, resulting in a significant increase in capacity. In addition, by having insight into the entire production process, many improvements could be made. The employees of JWM Metaalservice, for example, felt that the press brakes were stationary a lot. After the ERP software implementation, they were able to back up that feeling with numbers and anticipate this by programming more offline.
After implementing several optimizations within the production process, a lot of improvements had already been made. But more production capacity only leads to more sales if there is actually more production. By entering quotations directly into the ERP system, some time was saved instantly. But the number of people working on quotations remained the same and the number of inquiries exceeded the number of quotations that could be made. As a result, JWM Metaalservice missed out on a lot of orders for which there was production capacity available. So a solution had to be found, as the quotation process still proved too complex.
Smart metalworking quotation software in the cloud
To automate the metalworking quotation process, JWM Metaalservice partnered with the Quotation Factory. After a pilot project of one and a half years, the software had been developed to the point where it could be used by the entire company.
By implementing the Quotation Factory, estimates can be ready in no time at all. In addition, the software interfaces with the CAM edge software, the Trumpf and Mazak lasers, the Duivestein automatic warehousing system, and the Profirst nesting software and programming software for the LVD press brakes. This ensures that quotes that result in an order are ready for production immediately. The result is an unprecedented gain in time, which means that JWM Metaalservice misses far fewer orders and can therefore greatly increase production.
Efficiency improvements within the work preparation process
It is not only the estimation process that benefits from the Quotation Factory solution. There are also tremendous efficiency improvements within the work preparation process. An example of this is, no one needs to create a press brake program anymore. They “drag and drop” the customer’s information into their system and with an automated excursion into LVD’s programming software, the results and the press brake program are created automatically.
That result is automatically sent to the cutting program and the press brake program is ready immediately. So the part of work preparation that was involved in that is done completely automatically. That saves about 15 minutes of work each time and all those 15 minutes together are a lot of time saved.
Serving new markets through smart quotation software
With the implementation of the new metalworking quotation software, the work planners can spend (more) time on specific requests. Every customer who provides a Step, or DXF file, receives an almost completely automatically generated quotation within a very short time. This allows JWM Metaalservice to also serve smaller customers, such as interior construction companies. Because even if they don’t use a drawing software package, there is now time to address those requests that used to take the longest to process.
Your own quotation customer portal
Perhaps one of the biggest innovations offered by the Quotation Factory is its own quotation application customer portal. Potential customers of JWM Metaalservice can use this to submit their estimate request and receive, in most cases completely automatically, an estimate and delivery time. Ultimately, the goal is to fully automate all of the quotation inquiries, but that may be a utopia. Some requests simply require specialist expertise and this is the service that JWM Metaalservice now has time to offer.
Continued development together to create the best solution
Jaap Dekkers is the one ultimately responsible for the process optimization and says, “Where we are now, we wouldn’t have dared to imagine a year ago. But we are far from the end of the journey, we keep improving.”
The main operations they do are now in the quotation software and there is a calculation method behind that to arrive at a time and price, according to the logic implemented. There is no logic behind turning and milling yet. They still have to work on that. This also applies to welding and to the work they outsource. They also have to get to grips with the estimation of powder coating, for example.
Together with the Quotation Factory, JWM Metaalservice continues to develop with the goal of eventually being able to provide every inquiry with a price within one or two days, or already be in contact with the client about it. They are not there yet, but they will get there step by step.