Mattson/Witt Precision Products, Inc. (Barrington, IL) is one of America’s premier sources of custom manufactured plastic component solutions for the water treatment industry. With products like the first plastic brine valve, riser tubes and hub & lateral distributor systems for steel tanks, Mattson/Witt have become a go-to company for plastic component solutions. The company offers a full range of capabilities and is able to economically produce high quality, custom runs in quantities of 1 to 10,000 pieces. Innovation in meeting customer requirements remains the cornerstone of their business. For over 50 years, they’ve built a strong reputation for their superior workmanship, service and fair prices.
Because Mattson/Witt is so focused on the water treatment industry, they find themselves to be frequently overwhelmed by quote requests. Keeping up with the demand had become increasingly cumbersome – weighed down by the use of outdated manufacturing data and inconsistent methods.
“We definitely relied upon historical data and experience for set up times,” said Kevin Graff, director of operations for Mattson/Witt Precision Products. “Although we had job routings, we were never able to quantify the accuracy within the historical data. Production staff had to run around after the parts were produced interviewing machinists to identify set up and cycle times. Finding out after the fact whether or not you made money is no way to run a business.”
Having to rely so heavily on historical data, estimators at Mattson/Witt realized that their estimating process was becoming inconsistent. As a result – found themselves having to justify their pricing to an increasing number of customers.
“Sometimes we were afraid the only reason we won a job is because we misquoted it, said Graff. “Often times, we quoted similar parts to the same customer, and when they would see wild fluctuations in our pricing, they became less confident that they’re getting reliable pricing. Occasionally, this put us in a position to have to defend our numbers forcing us to review all similar parts repeatedly, thus wasting valuable time and resources.”
How Costimator Helped
"We needed a consistent platform for multiple users so everyone was singing from the same sheet of music,” Graff explained. “During our evaluation phase, for cost estimating software, we reviewed a competitor’s software. We were told it could ‘pull data in’ or ‘read from’ a 3D drawing and basically spit out a routing. Whether or not this process is effective, it would have forced all our design engineers to be working in 3D – a significant investment for our team. This would place undue burden on our customers requesting they supply 3D drawings, or we would have had to take the extra time convert them ourselves – increasing our costs.”
The company needed something easier to use and more accessible for their employees. When reviewing Costimator, the Mattson/Witt team found exactly what they were looking for.
“With Costimator we saw that it is shipped with almost every machine available with the manufacturers recommended feeds and speeds.” Graff continued. “Add a few part family cost models, and our estimating team is off and running.”
The Cost Modeler database within Costimator is designed to enable the creation of manufacturing processes, custom processes, part features and products as desired by the user. Once each Model is complete, it can be attached to a specific work center for calculation of manufacturing time and cost. The results are based on the characteristics of the equipment used to make the final part or product. Mattson/Witt quickly discovered that the program was able to improve their cost-estimating capabilities across the board.
“I estimate with Costimator almost daily,” said Graff. “The system can be used on both simple and complex parts. Both are quoted systematically and relatively quickly with a high degree of accuracy.”
Since Costimator was implemented, the Mattson/Witt team has been impressed with the results, finding that Costimator has helped fill a glaring need in their business.
“We already have very robust budgeting and scheduling,” Graff concluded. “The final piece was getting our part costing under control. Given the variables involved with running a business, we can now project profitability in any given month. Many companies are forced to wait and see just how much – if any – money they made. “
- Kevin Graff, Mattson/Witt Precision Products, Inc.