Last Updated: May 2, 2024

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Mrunali Gaikwad

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For manufacturers, accurate and efficient quoting is the cornerstone of a successful business. It sets the stage for profitable production runs, fosters trust with clients and keeps your sales team moving forward. However manually crafting quotes can be a time-consuming and error-prone process. That’s why you need a quoting software – a game-changer for modern manufacturing.

This blog is your one-stop guide to the world of quoting software for manufacturers. We'll delve into its definition, explore its functionalities, and also showcase some leading examples. Whether you're a business owner, a CTO, or someone looking to build quoting software for manufacturing business, this comprehensive overview will equip you with the knowledge you need.

What is Quoting Software for Manufacturing?

Quoting Software for Manufacturing is a type of software specifically designed to help manufacturers generate accurate and efficient quotes for their products. It acts as a central hub where you can manage customer requests, calculate production costs, generate professional quotes, and track approvals.

Top Features of Quoting Software

Features of Quoting Software

Customer Request Management: Capture and organize incoming requests for quotes (RFQs) from potential clients.

Bill of Materials (BOM) Management: Create and store BOMs for your products, including materials, labor, and overhead costs.

Inventory Management: Ensure real-time visibility into material availability to avoid quote delays.

Costing & Pricing: Automatically calculate production costs based on real-time material prices, labor rates, and machine usage.

Quote Generation: Generate professional-looking quotes with customizable templates, including product descriptions, pricing details, and lead times.

Version Control & Approval Tracking: Track revisions of quotes, manage client approvals, and ensure everyone's on the same page.

Reporting & Analytics: Gain insights into quoting performance, analyze profit margins, and identify areas for improvement.

Benefits of Using Quoting Software for Manufactures

Increased Efficiency: Automate manual tasks, generate quotes faster, and free up your team's time for more strategic activities.

Improved Accuracy: Reduce errors in calculations and ensure consistent pricing across all projects.

Enhanced Profitability: Gain better control over costs and optimize pricing strategies for maximum profitability.

Faster Sales Cycles: Deliver quotes quickly and keep your sales pipeline moving forward.

Improved Customer Experience: Provide a professional quoting experience with clear communication and transparent pricing.

Examples of Top Quoting Software for Manufacturing 

Quoting software caters to various manufacturing needs. Here's some examples of top quoting software for manufacturing, along with insights from reviews as well as user feedback:

Best Examples Of Quoting Software for Manufacturing

Jobber (All-in-One for SMBs)

Jobber is a cloud-based platform offering quoting alongside features like job scheduling, invoicing, and inventory management. Ideal for small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Example: A machine shop owner uses Jobber to create quotes based on predefined pricing for materials and labor. The software automatically calculates totals and generates a professional quote with the company logo within minutes.

Reviews (4.7/5)ProsCons
Its simplicity and workflow management are popular, however some users want advanced reporting.Easy to use, ideal for small and medium manufacturers, integrates scheduling, quoting, and invoicing. Limited features for complex product configurations, may not scale well for very large businesses.

PandaDoc (Proposal Management)

While not exclusively for manufacturing, PandaDoc offers robust quoting features with a user-friendly interface. It shines in creating visually appealing proposals and allows for e-signatures, streamlining the approval process.

Example: A contract manufacturer uses PandaDoc to build quote templates with product options and pricing. The customer can select their desired features, and PandaDoc automatically generates a customized quote with e-signature functionality.

Reviews (4.5/5)ProsCons
Its ease of use and elegant proposal production are praised, yet some users want more pricing calculating automation.User-friendly interface, visually appealing proposals with e-signatures, streamlines customer approvals. Not as robust in complex quoting functionalities compared to dedicated CPQ software.

FPX (Configure, Price, Quote)

A powerful Configure, Price, Quote ERP solution ideal for large manufacturers with complex product configurations. FPX allows you to define product variations, pricing rules, and automates quote generation based on customer selections.

Example: An electronics manufacturer uses FPX to manage their extensive line of custom circuit boards. The software configures quotes based on board size, component selection, and quantity, ensuring accurate pricing for each variation.

Reviews (4.8/5)ProsCons
FPX's sophisticated setups and quote automation impress manufacturers, but some find the initial setup process time-consuming.Powerful CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) solution, ideal for manufacturers with complex product variations and pricing rules.Can be expensive for smaller businesses, and requires some technical expertise for setup.

Pros (Advanced Quoting & Proposals)

 A comprehensive quoting and proposal management software with advanced features like version control and real-time collaboration. Pros caters to larger manufacturers with complex quoting needs.

Example: An aerospace manufacturer uses Pros to manage large-scale project quotes. The software facilitates collaboration between engineering and sales teams, ensuring all technical specifications and pricing details are included in the final quote.

Reviews (4.8/5)ProsCons
Users like its robust customization and scalability, yet reviewers note potential complexity for less intricate manufacturing processes. Comprehensive quoting and proposal software with advanced features like version control and collaboration tools. More complex interface compared to simpler quoting software, higher cost point.

Building Your Quoting Software: Key Consideration 

While off-the-shelf quoting software offers a convenient solution, some manufacturers may have unique needs that require a custom approach. Here, we'll discuss the considerations involved in building your own quoting software:

1. Identifying Your Needs

Shop Floor Complexity: How complex are your Bill of Materials (BOMs)? Do you require advanced features like multi-level BOM management and version control?

Integration Needs: Does your quoting software need to integrate with existing systems like ERP, CRM, or CAD software?

Read More: Data Integration Tools

Scalability: How large is your manufacturing operation? Will your software need to accommodate future growth?

Budget: Building custom software requires a significant investment. Carefully consider the development and ongoing maintenance costs.

Build your Quoting software for manufacturing

2. Development Considerations

Technology Stack: Choose a robust technology stack that can handle complex calculations, data storage, and user interface design. Popular options include Python, Java, and JavaScript frameworks like React or Angular.

Data Security: Ensure your software implements strong data security measures to protect sensitive customer and production information.

User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX): Design an intuitive and user-friendly interface that streamlines the quoting process for both your sales team and clients.

3. The Development Process

Planning & Design: Clearly define your software's functionalities, user workflows, and data flow.

Development: Develop the core functionalities of the software, including BOM management, cost calculation engine, and quote generation tools.

Testing & Deployment: Rigorously test the software to ensure accuracy, performance, and security. Implement a deployment strategy suited to your needs (cloud-based, on-premise, etc.)

4. Advantages of Building Your Own Software

Tailored Functionality: Cater to your specific manufacturing needs and integrate seamlessly with existing systems.

Scalability & Flexibility: Adapt the software to accommodate future growth and evolving business requirements.

Data Ownership: Maintain complete control over your data and avoid reliance on external vendors.

5. Disadvantages of Building Your Own Software

Cost & Development Time: Custom development is a significant investment in terms of time and resources.

Technical Expertise: Building complex software requires a skilled development team or partnering with a software development company.

Ongoing Maintenance: Regular updates and bug fixes are necessary to ensure optimal performance and security.

Which way to go: Build or Buy?

The decision to build or buy quoting software for manufacturing depends on your specific needs and resources. Here's a quick guide:

Buy: Ideal for manufacturers who prioritize a quick and cost-effective solution with readily available functionalities. Additionally, off-the-shelf software offers a lower initial investment and requires minimal technical expertise.

Build: Consider building your own software if you have unique manufacturing processes, require deep integration with existing systems, or have specific security or data ownership concerns.

Considering Building Your Own Quoting Software?

At Narola Infotech, we understand the unique challenges faced by manufacturers. With over 18+ years of experience in custom software development, we possess the expertise to help you build a custom quoting software solution that perfectly aligns with your specific needs.

Our team of skilled developers can handle the entire development process, from initial planning and design to development, testing, and deployment. We'll work closely with you to understand your requirements, create a user-friendly interface, and integrate seamlessly with your existing systems.

Ready to take your quoting process to the next level?

Contact Narola Infotech today for a free consultation. We'll help you identify your needs and also explore how custom quoting software can revolutionize your manufacturing operations. Let's build a solution that streamlines your workflow, boosts your profitability, and positions you for long-term success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

See the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below.

Yes, many quoting software solutions offer integrations with popular ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. This allows seamless data flow between systems, eliminating manual data entry and ensuring data accuracy.

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