A metal supply store has unique challenges that differ from typical hardware and building supply stores. Metal panels are made-to-order, trim profiles are custom cut, and building packages are sold as kits and materials lists. Add these day-to-day challenges to a disrupted supply chain and increased demand, and many owners are pulling their hair out trying to keep up. The good news is that there are ways to address these common challenges and keep orders moving.
At startup, many businesses choose basic accounting software such as Quick Books. While this is may be an effective way to save costs in the beginning, business growth often quickly demands more integrated and efficient processes. As complexity and volume increases, these are the common challenges that we have seen roll-formers face:
Challenge: Complex calculations and pricing for orders.
Many roll-formers find it difficult to price manufacture-to-order materials and put together quotes efficiently. While customers expect pricing quickly, many are stuck using complex excel worksheets and calculators for various dimensions of product. As orders increase, managing inventory stock, price changes, and customer-specific pricing becomes increasingly tedious and time-consuming.
Win more business and create proposals in minutes, instead of hours. Increasingly businesses are eliminating complex inventory codes and calculations and letting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software do the hard work. Point-of-Sale, like that in Eagle Business Software, allows you to enter various lengths of product, add custom trim drawings, and use package templates to create quotes and sell quickly.
Challenge: Disjointed manufacture-to-order workflow
From sales and scheduling to production and delivery, orders need to move through your shop quickly and efficiently. In many shops, orders must be entered into three or four different tools before completion. This inefficiency greatly increases the possibility of errors and slows down order fulfillment, becoming costly to both production and customer service.
Metal shops are using the order queue in EBMS to connect quoting, order entry, production, inventory, and billing processes into one efficient workflow. Track, schedule, and manufacture from one solution to deliver on time, every time.
Challenge: Stock lead times and fluctuating prices
Supply and demand have continued to fluctuate, making lead times and price changes difficult to manage. It has become increasingly important to order further in advance, while simultaneously staying on top of price changes and margins to ensure you are not selling at a loss.
The robust inventory management tools in our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software are built to address these challenges. Inventory is forecasted based on trends and vendor lead times. The inventory catalog is mapped directly with supplier catalogs to stay on top of stock and price changes. Metal is traced from coil to finished product to get real-time data and increase inventory visibility.
Challenge: Manual processes and duplicate entry
Because of the specialized needs in the manufacturing of metal roofing packages, many businesses find themselves manually entering the same order multiple times. First into a quoting tool to calculate pricing, then into the invoice, and finally into a production machine. This results in three different opportunities for entry error and slows down order fulfillment.
Processes that work for a startup business can suddenly become tedious and costly as volume increases. Sustainable growth often demands more centralized and streamlined processes.