Detroit Tool Metal Products (DTMP) is a leading, full service manufacturer of precision metal stampings, fabricated components and value-added assemblies for a targeted range of attractive end markets and applications. They specialize in producing standard and custom steel and aluminum components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and provide engineering support services in the heavy truck, agriculture and construction industries. DTMP differentiates itself by unique capabilities across heavy tonnage, deep draw, large bed sizes and thin & thick gauge inputs.
Prior to implementing Costimator, DTMP found they were estimating and quoting with high reliance on historical data and tribal knowledge. Over time, they struggled to justify inconsistent prices for similar products. This increased pressure from their customers while also causing costly time-wasting gaps during their internal review process.
“The consistency factor with regard to our manufacturing work centers was one of our biggest estimating problems for our estimators” explained Rick Clark, inside sales representative & estimator. During our cost estimating process, we used spreadsheets, tribal knowledge, and repeatedly questioned our manufacturing engineers. As inconsistencies surfaced, quoting delays followed. Also, our previous cost estimating and quoting methods were confusing. By not having a centralized database system, such as what Costimator offers to store and access manufacturing data, training new estimators were becoming increasingly difficult, and time consuming.”
Fortunately for DTMP, while adding to their estimating and quoting challenges, they were also hard-pressed to meet the increasing demands of multiple quotes occurring all at once. At this point, they realized that something had to change.
“Our legacy tools and prior cost estimating methods used by our estimators were very cumbersome and lacked details. Our methods didn’t account for all of the required manufacturing information needed to quote parts effectively for our customers -- within the desired lead time,” said Clark. “Our estimating team needed a solution that was easier to use and something that could also be scaled across all departments offering greater information access for more engineers.”
How Costimator Helped
Choosing the appropriate cost estimating and quoting software for their needs was a relatively easy decision for DTMP. Costimator, by MTI Systems, was well known in the industry and many of DTMP’s OEM customers, such as Caterpillar, John Deere and CNH Global, were already using the system.
“Costimator is utilized by many of our customers.” Said Clark, “This offers a big time-saving advantage because it allows for data sharing that’s compatible with what they are doing – providing quicker negotiations and cost information support. This saves time because we don’t have to spend hours duplicating the data otherwise found in a different format. It also reduces review time on manufacturing processes that have previously been discussed.”
Detroit Tool Metal Products saw immediate results – they quickly discovered a definite improvement in the accuracy of their quotes – but most importantly – a massive increase in consistency and turnaround time.
“While the increased accuracy helped us win new orders, overall, we’ve seen about a 30% increase in our turnaround times,” concluded Clark. “Faster response means happier customers and the ability for them to make decisions more quickly. It’s provided concrete data to more consistently validate our costing numbers based on actual industry standards – which is a different process than what we were doing. This translates into increased confidence in our ability to provide more effective quotes – both internally and based on what our customers should expect.
- Rick Clark, Detroit Tool Metal Products