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Estimating – from days to minutes! Part 2

25. May 2016 06:24

Estimating – from days to minutes! Part 2

Windows/Doors/Modular Buildings: For the past 10 years D3 Technologies has been working with the leading industry tools used in the design-to-estimate-to-engineering process.  To that regard, they have also developed many of those industry leading tools along with providing clients the means to truly achieve their goals.  While working with companies that design many different products (HVAC, Fans/Blowers, Tanks, Conveyors, Canopies, etc.) we have done a lot to help clients caught in the gray area between manufactured products and construction.  This conversation follows up on our April 4th post on The Current State, The Challenge and The Change.

 

THE SOLUTION

After a thorough process of evaluating industry goals and challenges, coupled with D3 having a unique access to a tool acquired by Autodesk, D3 began to work with some of the early adopters to solve the major areas of today’s workflow challenges.

These areas consist of:

·        Enable development of highly customized user-interface solutions to rapidly lay out a product with 3D graphics

·        Integrate back office systems to tie-in costing of materials and labor to selections for quoting

·        Easy button creation of 3D models, drawings, bill of material lists, ERP data push, PDF and CNC exports

·        Development of Web-enabled tools to allow controlled access from anywhere

 

THE PROCESS

D3 starts with the a Requirements Gathering phase to understand the client’s current state and to compare that with their desired future state. From there D3 builds out a plan that can solve the problems and provide the desired return on the investment. Clients are then armed with a game plan that shows the order of events, expected outcomes and control of when to pull the lever to gate through the custom development sprints.

 

THE RESULTS

Clients solve problems with each delivered sprint, thus they are able to self-fund all of the following sprints. This helps a client phase in the solution with real gains as you go along and not faster than can be afforded.

The outcomes include:

·        Estimating and design tasks, which used to take 165 minutes, now take about 10 minutes

·        Drawings and other documents are created with a click of a button compared to days in engineering

·        Intelligent 3D models are created on the fly reducing what has to be done even for very custom projects

·        Clients get what they want before the competition can respond and it is accurate.

·        Downstream systems like ERP or CNC equipment get the information pushed over automatically rather than requiring manual input

 

CONCLUSION

While these solutions are not cheap, neither are the problems they are solving.  Most projects have a six to 12 month ROI for all of the sprints mapped out.  When you invest in tools that can improve the bottom line in large increments by harnessing rules into a reusable tool, a company can then be scaled with the business and not have to default to throwing more warm bodies at the problem.  You don’t have to let your intellectual property clock out at 5pm and hope it returns.

 

Daryl Price

 

Director of Sales

D3 Technologies

 

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Estimating – from days to minutes!

4. April 2016 12:47

Estimating – from days to minutes!

Windows/Doors/Modular Buildings: For the past 10 years D3 Technologies has been working with the leading industry tools used in the design-to-estimate-to-engineering process.  To that regard, they have also developed many of those industry leading tools along with providing clients the means to truly achieve their goals.  While working with companies that design many different products (HVAC, Fans/Blowers, Tanks, Conveyors, Canopies, etc.) we have done a lot to help clients caught in the gray area between manufactured products and construction.

 

The Current State: these industries are all old, which has many good things to boast, however, there are several things that can be a detractor when you consider leveraging technology and the change that it can bring or the resistance to it.  It is not uncommon to see large numbers of tenured team members with 20+ years at a manufacturer.  That ability to have very knowledgeable employees is a big strength not always seen in other industries that often have a very fluid workforce with very wide age ranges.

 

The Challenge: old and stable as they are, it is not without the need to adapt to market changes and to be able to leverage technology where it makes sense.  However, that is not always very easy to do considering the leap that may need to take place between the user and the technology.  It is also not without risk when you consider the fear that change can bring.  This is very true for these industries that often has a very tough and rugged industrial feel to them when you consider their cultures.

 

The Change: very early on in D3’s focus on automation technologies, we realized that there were some realizations starting to occur that were gaining momentum.  Certain scenarios were beginning to play out that were leading to a shift that very coincidentally led to a fundamental cultural change.  Companies in general were starting to leverage sophisticated solutions at a rapid rate.  Here are some of the ingredients that we witnessed:

·        A very predictable product that was same but different

·        Similar industry challenges from one company to the next

·        Similar industry use of Excel

·        Similar industry use of AutoCAD

·        Rapidly evolving technical solutions that solved parts of the problem

·        Early adopters – companies willing to invest to prove it out and remove the problem

 

Check back for my next post that will cover the solutions and results of the work we have done for others.

 

Daryl Price

Director of Sales

D3 Technologies

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