Make or Break Factors - When Considering Estimating Software
Make-or-Break Factors in Success and Profitability
For quick printers, estimating can prove to be a major factor in the success or failure of their business.
When a customer requests a bid on a job, they need a fast turnaround, and the best price. For a printer, there are two important issues; first of course is the price and second the profit. If they price a job too high they might miss out on getting the job, and if they price it too low, this starts cutting into their potential profits.
Estimating software is a tool that helps eliminate this margin for error and make every printer's job easier. This ease is why estimating software is becoming an integral part for many companies in the printing and graphics industry. But what type of estimating software should a printer look for? With so many different companies selling estimating software it can become difficult to find a solution that is the right one.
For this reason Cyrious Software has taken on the role of business software consultants rather then focusing strictly on selling. When looking for a business management and estimating solution, the ability of a company to consult and guide you to the correct solution, be it theirs or someone else's, should be a major deciding factor. If a software company isn't willing to work to find a solution that specifically fits their business, it might be wise to find a different company to do business with.
Estimating software can range from a simple estimating calculator package, to a complete powerful, integrated estimating, job tracking & business management system, like Cyrious Software. The difficulty is figuring out which system is right for your business.
How Much & For What
Companies should look at the money spent on estimating/business management software, as an investment and not an expense. Most complete software systems range from about $2,000 all the way up to $14,000 depending on the number of licenses, modules and different customizations. This somewhat large investment makes it vital for printers to find a system that they can not only use to increase profits and save time, but also one they have the ability to continue to grow with.
Many printers are looking for a system that not only has the ability to estimate, job track, and do invoicing but also has the ability to export to accounting packages, create reports, manage their customer base, and expand their business through target marketing. Because not all estimating software packages have this complete business management functionality, printers and similar businesses need to make sure the estimating software they choose has the functionality they need (i.e. Customer Management Tools, Marketing Tools, Shipping & Credit Card Integration) The last thing a company needs is to buy additional software after the initial investment.
Another aspect to consider when searching for a software package is the accuracy it provides. Accuracy is one of the most important features to look for in estimating software. The price of using inaccurate information can add up and become extremely detrimental to a business. Accuracy in estimating software depends on the ability to customize the software to fit the printers pricing. With Cyrious Software, your pricing & cost structure is customized and built into the software making it virtually impossible to have inaccurate estimates.
Integration Is Key
Another factor to consider is how easily estimating software will let one go from estimate, to order, to invoice, and beyond. Without estimating/business management software, printers spend a lot time re-entering/re-writing customer or product information. Even with estimating software if you don't have the right system you could be left re-keying a lot of important information. This can be a major waste of time. That is why Cyrious Software has created their application to encompass this integration. This means the first time you enter company or order information you never have to enter it in again, unless of course you need to make an update or edit.
The "beyond" part is where Cyrious Software distinguishes itself from many of its competitors. Imagine having the power of an entire marketing research firm at your fingertips. Cyrious gives you that power. Once you have company information and order history in the Cyrious Software system, you can create queries that will allow you to separate customers into different segments, and provide you with an easy method to begin to target different markets. Once these segments are grouped, you can automatically e-mail, fax or print marketing materials to them. Whether it is a follow up letter, thank you note, or special offer, businesses can use the software to help strengthen relationships with current/new customers and/or develop a stronger marketing strategy.
About The Author
For more information on Cyrious Software's Estimating & Business Management Solutions go to www.cyrious.net or call 1-800-552-1418.