Job-Tracking, Quoting and Management Software a Perfect Fit for Job Shop
Accurate cost estimating and job tracking are critical in running a successful and profitable business. Estimating too high delivers fewer jobs, while estimating too low shrinks profits. And, losing track of an invoice, or forgetting to invoice a customer, affects the bottom line. The key to success: Get it right every time.
In 2016, Tombigbee Tooling, Inc. (TTI), Manatachie, MS, while searching for a job-tracking and quoting solution to turn quoting into a seamless, time-saving and accurate process, turned to TSTracker and Estimator ERP software from TST Tooling Software, LLC.
Selling TTI’s owners, DeWayne and Debbie Thornton, on the software was its ability to provide the consistency and accuracy necessary to optimize profitability.
Established 30 years ago as Smith Tool & Die Co., TTI started out machining fixtures, stamping dies and more for local industries. Today, in an expanded 22,000-sq.-ft. operation, the company and its 43 employees across two shifts routinely design and manufacture progressive, manual-transfer and automated-transfer dies.
In incorporating new software, the Thorntons required of it three things: 1. Guarantee the flow of work through the shop with minimal disruption to the current process; 2. Allow managers to oversee everything at the touch of a button; and 3. Quote jobs accurately.
TTI previously employed a web-based, generic job-tracking and management system, but that didn’t fit into the company’s desire for a customizable system that could serve as a platform to handle future management efforts, improvements and expansions.
Because TTI benefits from using VISI software to build tools, the company also would benefit by employing TSTracker. That’s because TST Tooling Software Technology, developer of TSTracker, also sells and supports VISI CAD/CAM in the United States. In addition, TSTracker and Estimator has the ability to communicate with VISI, thus providing an integrated solution for estimating and design.
Today, with the software in place, TTI seamlessly tracks jobs from start to finish. Using Estimator, the company can quote all aspects of a die build, from materials and components to labor. Within TSTracker resides a full database history of TTI quotes and jobs that can be referenced easily when generating future quotes. Bills of materials (BOMs) from all jobs can be imported from any CAD system, which can be used to create RFQs and purchase orders for materials and components. Vendor purchase orders can even be exported to QuickBooks.
As to implementation, TST performed onsite installation of TSTracker and Estimator and associated training, a process that only took three days, according to TTI officials. And, TST showed TTI departments how to use the system to its advantage. Accounting learned how to export reports from TSTracker to QuickBooks. CAD designers learned how to import BOMs easily from VISI, and TTI’s quoting department reportedly picked up the ins and outs of TSTracker in only a couple of hours. Typically, everyone in the company can learn and perform the various processes within a few days, according to TST officials, with TST’s support line available to address issues and answer questions.
Beyond only tool design and build, the administration, tracking and paperwork comprise other key functions of a job shop. The multi-user TSTracker ERP software provides for complete histories, inspection tracking, employee accountability, password control, production status and more at a glance.
Metalforming Magazine April 2019