What are the benefits of print estimating software? Here’s Soyang’s guide.
What is print estimating software and how can it help your business efficiency?
Estimating is a critical skill for any print business. While there may be room for +/- 10% wiggle room at the end of any quote, your ability to ensure your estimates are in the right ballpark is a basic building block of success.
Unless you can give prospective clients a reasonable quote, you risk undercharging – and no business can afford to do that for long. You risk having to renegotiate with customers, which isn’t a great way to lock in loyalty. And you risk overcharging, which could see customers head in the direction of your nearest competitor.
Traditionally, estimating has been a dark art built on experience. You know how long jobs take and the costs involved, so it’s reasonably easy for you to reach a figure. The problem is that estimating in this way requires knowledge that only a handful of people in the business (at best) are likely to have.
That increases the workload on them and creates bottlenecks as your sales team wait for their estimates to be produced. Print estimating software helps to solve that issue.
What Is Print Estimating Software?
As the name suggests, print estimation software is a tool for producing accurate estimates. It does that using data (material costs, standard profit margins, labour costs, standard discounts for loyal customers etc), and once you have established those standard blocks of data, anyone can use the templates that are part of virtually all print estimation software packages to create estimates.
What Are The Benefits of Print Estimating Software?
1. Remove print estimation bottlenecks
If yours is the sort of printshop where jobs tend to be large scale, infrequent and complex to quote, you may always need to rely on the know-how of key personnel.
But where you get lots of enquiries every day, the responsibility for (and knowledge to enable) estimation can’t stay with one person without creating bottlenecks. Every time your sales people put together a proposition for a new client they’ll either need to wait for you to provide the quote or wait for you to sign off on their numbers.
Print estimation software means that, as long as the data is right, all your people can issue accurate estimates. That means you can quote for more work more frequently.
2. Stay profitable
Accurate estimates reduce the risk of your business pitching its prices too low. That’s more of a risk than ever right now, because as inflation has soared, prices have needed to rise too. It’s not always easy to keep track of the latest price of inks, vinyls and meshes – and not everyone will be aware when prices rise. Print quoting software can ensure everyone is on the same page, that nothing that should be costed is missed, and that everyone is producing estimates that result in profit.
3. Quote consistently
We all know how frustrating it can be when the price you pay for a service hops around – higher one day than it is the next. Sometimes that’s simply a reflection of fluctuating markets. In the print sector, however, it can often feel more as though figures are being plucked from the air.
With quoting software, your estimates use a consistent set of parameters and data, which means the results will be more consistent too.
4. Stay competitive
You never want to quote low – but you never want to quote too high either. Estimating software can help ensure that you’re never issuing quotes so extreme that you hand business to your competitors.
5. Quote quickly
For your sales team, there’s real value in being able to put an estimate together in the moment, rather than taking the sale as far as it can go before having to break and refer up the chain for an estimate.
An immediate quote creates the possibility of an immediate ‘yes’, locking in the sale before competitors have a chance to steal your business. With cloud-based print estimation systems, your entire sales team can take the quoting software with them wherever they go, on tablet, laptop or smartphone.
6. Compare estimates with actual
If you estimate manually, there’s a learning process that takes place as you understand where the estimating ‘Goldilocks’ zone lies (i.e. not too much, not too little, just right).
It’s a process that can take time as you learn from experience. Apply automated estimation software to your print business, and that learning process happens faster.
Because you can quickly compare your estimates with actual costs, you can make the adjustments that lock in profitability and competitiveness, fast.
That’s not the only insight you can gain from the software, which can also help you see who’s getting most discounts, who’s your most/least profitable customer, and which customers are most likely to say ‘yes’ after asking for an estimate.
Talk to Soyang
Make your print estimating smarter still. To explore how Soyang can help you to quote for your print materials, talk to us.