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digitalcarbon

Design/Cost - Live

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People have 2 basic questions for a project.
1. What does it look like?
2. What does it cost?
Question 2 doesn't get answered until the drawings are done...which is too late...
The Assembler (ie CAD guy) should have live access to the cost of everything that gets brought into the project.

 

Comments?

 

 

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In a perfect world you are correct.

 

In the real world, having been the guy trying to pull the costs together, I don't see it working. Too many parts are custom. Too many of the parts have too many variations. Too many vendors are not willing to publish price lists and standard discounts and want to quote every part. Too many parts have too long of lead time so you have to switch to something else.

 

For a manufacturer who basically makes small variations on a standard product and uses the same components multiple times/month or year you might be able to get close.

 

For anyone who is doing things that are even slightly bespoke, any time saved in drawing/costing by trying to keep the pricing up to date would be overwhelmed by the  amount of work it takes to keep the prices up to date.

 

We build system made up of about 50,000 individual parts with about 3500 SKUs used on each machine. The cost of the nuts and bolts is negligible compared to the price of the pumps. Yet the pumps are the thing that we can't get standard pricing on as there are probably 100 different submodes of each of the primary models. Each with a different price. To be quoted by the vendor on a case by case basis. And yes we could go to another vendor, but these are the parts that make the system work best.

 

We find that the major components (pumps/valves/controls) make up about 5% of the SKUs and about 85% of the value of the project. And often we can't determine what pump we need until we determine the basic layout so we know the elevation difference and pipe length for the suction and discharge.To do truly live costing you will end up spending a lot of time chasing pricing on components with a very low value.

 

Using some kind of standard costs for estimating purposes is fine. As soon as you get a printout from the CAD program that says the cost is $XXX, people who don't understand will expect it to always be $XXX. And when it is not, someone will have to explain. Usually in a very painful way.

 

Similar to Architects using White Models so the client does not get caught up in the color of the carpet or the type of door handles way too early in the process.

 

I would love to have a complete and up to date cost model that I can pull from and generate costs. But even for our smallest projects it isn't going to happen.

 

I hope it does get there, but I am sure not going to hold my breath.

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Then again "Cost" is nothing more than a piece of information that changes over time...Why do I need to call a supplier for a quote and he needs to call his supplier to get a quote?  (this happened yesterday)  Its all information.....Why did it take phone/email?

 

& 5hrs to get that information? Because someone had to read the email then look in his computer...scratch his head and reply... 

 

you can get the price of gold, which varies each day.

 

238412669_ScreenShot2019-05-09at1_06_19PM.thumb.png.77f473048af1949772465e59b708b393.png

 

759877308_ScreenShot2019-05-09at1_19_28PM.thumb.png.b8829f1873be404de1e77a860494fc34.png

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2 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

We build system made up of about 50,000 individual parts with about 3500 SKUs

ok so if live costing is too much for the designer... i see your point...but someone is going t have to deal with it...if not live then once a week, month etc...

 

Someone is going to need to deal with it...

 

who deals with it on your end and how do they do it?

Edited by digitalcarbon

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Gold is a commodity. 

 

The intent of every vendor of industrial equipment is to try and avoid being a commodity. If they publish their "price", then their competitor will just look it up and price theirs as $0.01 cheaper and someone in the purchasing department will get a bonus for saving money even thought they just bought from a company with lousy service.

 

I am on both sides of this every day. Not fun or easy.

 

We don't deal with it. We quote fixed price to customers based on historically similar projects, knowledge of typical margins, and guess work about what we think the client will pay. Add in currency exchange rate variations over a period of months/years and costs are simply unknowable when we quote to customers.

 

We try our best to capture costs in actual project execution and use that to guide future projects.

 

You never want to let a customer know what your costs are. As soon as you do, that becomes that maximum of what they will pay. Regardless of changes on their end or the economy.

 

Rule 1 of business. Make sure to protect yourself. Rule 2 Take good care of the customer. Rule 3 If the customer asks for too much, see Rule 1.

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the gold ref was to show that changing values can be tracked & no one is going to say "gold was cheaper last week why is it more this week?"

 

 

Edited by digitalcarbon

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18 minutes ago, Pat Stanford said:

You never want to let a customer know what your costs are.

ok...but you do want to track this internally...inside the company...

 

i understand what you are saying...just trying to learn....& what about 4BIM modeling where they track time of construction?  the point... computers are creating more things to track...but its not complete...some people provide prices some do not...

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15 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

People have 2 basic questions for a project.
1. What does it look like?
2. What does it cost?
Question 2 doesn't get answered until the drawings are done...which is too late...
The Assembler (ie CAD guy) should have live access to the cost of everything that gets brought into the project.

 

Comments?

 

 

 Interesting conversation and topic.

 

 

Edited by jeff prince

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The million dollar question:

Are you both saying that if I could produce a "quickly generated material cost of a subsystem" for a company's internal use & place it in a folder,  then drop it on a table in front of you...neither of you would peek at the results?

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On 5/10/2019 at 2:26 PM, digitalcarbon said:

did anyone drag the image to their desktop and enlarge so as to see numbers?

x

Edited by jeff prince

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The question is valid...

 

Guys...those numbers have value to someone...ok maybe the cad guy should not get bogged down with them...but if the cad guy can streamline VW in such a way so that the person next in line can figure costing easier...then wow!  

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Which brings me back to one of the issues I had when doing this...why can I get pricing for 90% of the parts but 10% are hidden away?

 

 

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On 5/10/2019 at 3:38 PM, digitalcarbon said:

Which brings me back to one of the issues I had when doing this...why can I get pricing for 90% of the parts but 10% are hidden away?

 

 

x

Edited by jeff prince

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On 5/10/2019 at 3:35 PM, digitalcarbon said:

The question is valid...

 

Guys...those numbers have value to someone...ok maybe the cad guy should not get bogged down with them...but if the cad guy can streamline VW in such a way so that the person next in line can figure costing easier...then wow!  

 

x

Edited by jeff prince

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The next guy in line is Jeff...He is the actual designer...I just make a clean model of his sketches...He gets stuck with getting costing...I have been providing BOMs for the past few projects to help him...So I set up an OpenBOM account (cloud based works like Google Docs) and got everything set up.

Now he can use...

 

This will simplify his work...

 

1144110714_ScreenShot2019-05-10at7_00_30AM.thumb.png.b954eed31bfd4f88e6ae71c5a5031ef8.png

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On 5/10/2019 at 4:03 PM, digitalcarbon said:

The next guy in line is Jeff...He is the actual designer...I just make a clean model of his sketches...He gets stuck with getting costing...I have been providing BOMs for the past few projects to help him...So I set up an OpenBOM account (cloud based works like Google Docs) and got everything set up.

Now he can use...

 

This will simplify his work...

 

1144110714_ScreenShot2019-05-10at7_00_30AM.thumb.png.b954eed31bfd4f88e6ae71c5a5031ef8.png

 

x

Edited by jeff prince

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Guys, I just started this "getting material cost" a few days ago and never realized how hard it was...I appreciate all the above feed back and understand that some points you raised are valid & I do not see an answer to...at this point...but someone is going to figure it out because its someones job & they want to do it better and faster...

 

Pat, thanks for your feed back.

Jeff, thanks for your feed back.

 

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On 5/10/2019 at 4:12 PM, digitalcarbon said:

Guys, I just started this "getting material cost" a few days ago and never realized how hard it was...I appreciate all the above feed back and understand that some points you raised are valid & I do not see an answer to...at this point...but someone is going to figure it out because its someones job & they want to do it better and faster...

 

Pat, thanks for your feed back.

Jeff, thanks for your feed back.

 

x

Edited by jeff prince

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