Accounting software boosts laser cutting quoting efficiency

Small laser cutting and metal fabrication job shops face big challenges. With a limited number of staff on the roster, each person is performing multiple roles, from estimator, to customer service, to accountant, to manger, and more.

According to the World Bank, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) “represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide,” so it’s a significant proportion of the market. In demanding industries like laser cutting and metal fabrication, SMEs need to capitalise on available tools, resources, and software, to make their jobs more efficient and productive, and to stay ahead of the competition. To further enhance the efficiency of small-to-medium job shops, Tempus Tools is introducing accounting integrations with Xero and QuickBooks to its ToolBox multi-functional laser cutting quoting software.

“ToolBox is designed to provide fast, accurate, and consistent laser cutting quotes that are professionally presented, ready to send back to the customer. It was a logical next step to integrate this process with common accounting systems, to provide job shops with additional capability and efficiency,” says Bart Jesman, CEO, Tempus Tools.

“Additionally, by using a Software as a Service (SaaS) model with a monthly subscription, SMEs aren’t lumped with large up-front set-up costs and annual fees,” he adds.

With more than 100 years of combined experience in its leadership team – extending from the job shop floor to the formation of entire laser cutting enterprises – Tempus Tools designed ToolBox to not only increase laser cutting quoting efficiency, but to integrate with other software programs, and to perform a range of functions in one, saving the need to purchase multiple subscriptions or programs.

New features help SMEs

In addition to simple, fast, and accurate quoting, ToolBox has a large range of useful features for SMEs, and the development team is consistently adding more features to meet market needs. ToolBox uses simplified folding and custom secondary process algorithms, to make quoting these processes simple and user-friendly for fabrication job shops.

Production documents

Where larger job shops often utilise dedicated floor management software, ToolBox has a production documentation feature that allows smaller job shops to print work orders, part labels, and delivery dockets to better manage the shop floor. The production documents provide useful and relevant information, and include a thumbnail for an easy visual reference to the part.

ToolBox can provide production documentation to help smaller fabrication job shops more efficiently manage the shop floor work flow

Web Store

“And we’ve got a growing Web Store feature for online orders,” says Jesman.

“Web Store allows SMEs to run their own online shop without having to build it themselves. We’ve built the functionality, and it just needs to be populated with the services and prices of the specific job shop. With Web Store, a job shop’s customers can log in and get instant pricing or place orders 24/7, opening up the opportunity to win work around the clock.”

Quote miscellaneous items

In response to customer feedback, Tempus Tools has also introduced an option to quote miscellaneous items, not just sheet metal parts.

“Sometimes jobs have non-sheet metal parts that you’d like to include in the quote, so we’ve now added this feature to ToolBox. It could be things like CAD drawing time, delivery, assembly charges, nuts and bolts, or a huge range of items – now you can simply enter a price and a description, to include it in the overall quote,” says Jesman.

Fixed price parts

Another new feature is the ability to fix the price of particular parts, where users can optionally lock the unit price of parts for a customer, in that customer’s part library. “Fixed price parts is great for returning customers, where you have agreed on a set price for parts. Rather than the price varying each time with changes in quantity or settings, it can be locked in, to ensure the consistency the customer is expecting,” says Jesman.

Features for companies big and small

The features of ToolBox are not just for SMEs, though, and the software has a range of advanced features to help larger job shops streamline their laser cutting quoting processes, too.

“For SMEs, it’s all about saving time and performing multiple roles efficiently, but for larger companies, there are huge efficiencies to be gained by using ToolBox,” says Jesman.

“ToolBox allows companies to respond to quotes typically eight times faster, which can free up staff to work on other projects and other productive areas of the business, which can enable faster and stronger business growth,” he says.

“And for larger job shops, the option to include multiple cutting technologies – including tube cutting – over multiple machines, is another benefit. ToolBox also has advanced rate table settings with options for using different speeds for cutting small holes, and warnings if the user is attempting to quote parts with holes that are too small.”

Contact: Mark Washington