National Tool & Manufacturing which began in Kenilworth, New Jersey in 1933, is a leading supplier of quality mold bases and mold components for the mold-making industry. In 1978, Midwest Steel & Services of Illinois began offering mold base steels and grinding services. The two companies merged together in 2010 under the National Tool & Manufacturing (NTM) name and is now centrally located in Wheeling, Illinois to supply more easily to the manufacturer's many North American customers. In 2016, NTM expanded its operation, adding a second machining facility in Elgin, Illinois.
The manufacturer was experiencing rapid business growth and began to experience a multitude of challenges in the area of cost estimating and quoting:
• No oversight on quotes being created
• No centralized history to pull similar quotes from or compare existing quotes to
• Inconsistency between estimators
• Underestimating the job due to quesswork and incorrect bill of materials
• Unstructured operation routing leading to poor shop floor execution
• Difficulty for another estimator to pick up where another left off
• Unable to audit quoting methods after job was complete
How Costimator Helped
After implementing Costimator in 2009, the manufacturer noted that the software led to extreme pricing consistency and superb accuracy on quotes and estimates. NTM was able to improve delivery times and has since packed more work into the shop due to the increased accuracy and consistency of the routing and estimate times. These improvements have also allowed for NTM to look inward at production and expose many inefficiencies.
Eric Sandberg, VP, Mill Products, explains, "Having a consistent estimating method to rely on creates uniformity among our estimating staff. The system supplies a common benchmark of time for machining operations that is neither biased nor discriminatory."
NTM estimators also appreciate the configurability of the Costimator system. "Much of our manufacturing varies from what could be considered standard. Costimator's cost modeler tool allows us to tailor operation specifically, allowing us to get the most accurate reflections of actual machining and setup times, leading to better quoting."
The advantage of utilizing a database driven cost estimating system also pays big dividends for NTM. "Having a live centralized database enables us to have real-time updates, sharable quotes, quote reviews, sharable and updatable cost models, trusted source for part costs, data entry for bill of materials, and accessible and reusable quote histories."
Over the last 7 years Costimator has helped National Tool & Manufacturing overcome their cost estimating challenges and brought consistency and superb accuracy to their quotes.