I was reading an old article on the history of Estimating Software in the Printing Industry and found a very interesting fact that could benefit the Finishing/Binding and Diemaking Industries.
According to the NAQP (National Association of Quick Printers) in 2007 on average companies using estimating software reported $47,000 more in owner's compensation then those using manual estimating systems.
The estimating software forced the owners to look at their true costs of producing different jobs and this allowed them to identify and focus on the type of work they did most profitably.
I think this lesson can be applied to any job oriented manufacturing business whether it is printing, finishing, binding or diemaking.
The more you can focus your efforts and production resources on specific products the more profitable your business will be.
If you were to make a graph of all jobs you did in a given year and make the verticle bar PROFIT and the horizontal bar JOBS and then place a dot on the graph for each job based on its profitability.
The dots above the horizontal line would be profitable the ones below would be not. We must minimize the types of jobs that fall below the line and maximize the type of jobs that appear above the line.
By identifying what distinguished the most profitable jobs the companies could try to replicate those conditions to get more and more of their jobs into this category.
Estimating not only helps you identify your true costs but it also allows you to analyze estimates to ensure you maintain your market advantages in the profitable products.
Won/Loss reports based on product type helps you monitor your valued markets against potential competition.
Won/Loss based on customers allow you to ensure that customers are staying happy with your service.
Daily listings of estimates to follow up ensures you don't lose any of your high profit jobs for stupid reasons.
Estimate listings by salesreps ensure that they are chasing the profitable work.
When I look at our customers the most successful ones are allways the ones with specific markets and product niches.
One of the most impressive things I have heard in an estimating department is "NO BID" because the quote did not fall into their desired product mix.