Manufacturing Quoting App in Excel
If you’re a retailer, you know that selling goods is only half the battle. You also need to establish a paper trail that can stand as a testament to your hard work, but you can’t afford processes that swallow up undue time and money.
A growing, small manufacturing company came to us with a need to update their existing manufacturing quoting app in Excel. The app is used to take sales information for the many products they sell and produce a time and materials quote for their customers using Microsoft Excel. The quotes are produced in Excel first which allows the business to review the quote and make and final adjustments before it is converted to a formal PDF.
The app was rapidly created and evolved as the business grew. Like many growing companies, the app became harder and harder to maintain as new features were added. Also, the data started getting errors and more products and data was added to the app to support the quoting process. The process was taking a very long time to create quotes, was prone to human error and becoming harder to maintain with the growing list of products. While there are free Excel quoting templates such as here, they are not dynamic enough to meet the business automation needs.
The goals of this project were:
- Add crucial new business fields to support growth.
- Bring flexibility and stability to the app to allow new business fields in the future.
- Incorporate data validation and security throughout the app to ensure users could only use the right data throughout the app.
- Streamline and automate calculations as data flows through the entire app.
- Update the quote design and app to a more professional look and feel.
Our Manufacturing Quoting App in Excel Solution
eSoftware Associates updated the existing Excel application. The app is compatible on Windows devices using Excel 2013 edition or higher meaning we factor in users on different, older devices.
The project started by revamping the data model, adding new fields throughout the application to better capture data to be used in the quoting and export processes as well as adding flexibility to seamlessly add new business fields in the future.
Next, data checks and data validations will be added to minimize human error. While the data checks are being implemented, automated cost calculations were added to standardize and streamline calculations.
Finally, the quote generation process was updated to a more professional quoting format. The Excel quote could be generated with a button click. Once the user was done reviewing and adding any final notes, the user could click another button to generate the final PDF.
The end user process went from taking over an hour to generate a formal quote down to less than 10 minutes for the hundreds of quotes produced annually.
Updated User Interface