Manage Metal Fabrication Challenges with Dynamic Q2S ERP

Whatever metal you fabricate or process, you need a production solution that enables you to readily and accurately estimate and produce the products or components your customers demand when they demand them.

That’s difficult when many or all the items you make are different because your production environment is complex. The higher the volume and shorter the lead times, the bigger the impact of inefficiency and possibilities for errors.

Unless your metal fabrication ERP solution is built with the flexibility for your dynamic manufacturing process.

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Decrease downtime with Industry 4.0 Initiatives

Downtime is the amount of time a machine could be running but is not during a scheduled shift. Unplanned downtime is a costly disruption.

Recording your downtime is the first step in understanding how to reduce it. Understanding each machine’s downtime provides you information so you can make changes to increase the throughput within your plant.

Planning for scheduled downtime also allows you to schedule only possible work and reduce mid-stream backlogs.

Can you schedule predictive maintenance tasks? Plan for tooling changeovers per product in your production schedule? Release enough production to reduce bottlenecks?

Q2S ERP with Production Workflow provides you with all these capabilities.


The challenges are particularly significant if you’re trying to manage pricing and production in spreadsheets or with a SKU-based or single-level bill of materials generator. These are just not designed for make-to-order manufacturing.

You want to reduce time to price and fabricate, be more flexible, accurately track jobs and labor and reduce errors—and make it so product configuration and pricing can be done many people rather than just one or two.

You need a system designed to streamline complex products production. A system like Q2S ERP.

Metal fabrication manufacturing issues

Start with estimating. All the possible combinations of height, length, thickness, purity, metal type, shape and design can make accurately configuring and pricing orders complicated and time-consuming.

Aluminum USAAdd finish, fabrication and hardware choices and your products can have practically unlimited variations, each requiring a different BOM.

Without a system designed to manage dynamic products like yours, you can easily under or overprice. You can estimate something your operation can’t make. Pricing can take so long you lose orders, especially if your staff is always waiting on your one or two configuration experts.

Then there’s job costing, which gets difficult because labor is highly variable, making standard estimates difficult to create and maintain.

The list of challenges for complex manufacturing goes on: inventory control, production scheduling, job tracking, identifying replacement parts and more.

A dynamic metal working ERP

Q2S ERP features a dynamic, multi-level and rules-based BOM generator built precisely for complex and mass customized product manufacturing.

With the right system, you can free engineering staff from the order entry process and enable your team to configure and price products, schedule jobs, monitor production, measure actual costs and more.

With Q2S, your customers can enter orders because Q2S Configure Price Quote simplifies the quote and order entry process.

Customers entering their own orders?

The dynamic BOM generator converts your company’s engineering and production rules—complicated or simple—into a series of standard questions. By answering those questions, dealers and contractors can configure and price products for their orders.

You can even take it one step further and enable these customers to configure and quote your products to their customers at a markup.

The BOM rules ensure only manufacturable orders are quoted. You can build in the restrictions based on rating agencies, transportation, safety and equipment capabilities. Automatically.

Keeping track …

Do you have too much raw material tying up space? Only know inventory based on weekly cycle counts? Can’t tell the difference between stock and purchased-as-needed inventory, let alone keep track of it all?

Let Q2S ERP’s Materials Management tools help. Q2S differentiates stock inventory from purchased-as-needed inventory. When used with our Dynamic BOM, you can account for all required parts. Stock inventory is allocated and purchased-as-needed materials can automatically generate one or hundreds of purchase orders tied to a single job.

You also get real-time updates of WIP and finished goods using a perpetual inventory model. This level of integration creates visibility of what’s received and more importantly, what has not been received, on a job-by-job and line-item-by-line-item basis, or across all active jobs.

… to keep on track

Do you need a way to document processes? Q2S ERP’s Production Workflow tools help you with sequencing work, material optimization, and tracking progress to ensure on-time delivery.
Which helps you make it right the first time and prevent the return.

You can go paperless or barcode everything. You can determine which product options get the most returns and easily create production pop-ups to alert the production floor when that option is included.

Proactively alert production if a step has been missed. Warn downstream stations of potential issues with an item. You can add supporting documentation for difficult steps.

Plus tracking your progress allows the office to see product and job status without interrupting production.

Connect the factory to your ERP

Imagine being able to instantly tell a customer when they can expect their delivery. When both tools are in one system, it allows the person entering the order to automatically get the expected delivery date. The system can see the backlog, production workflow, capacity, delivery schedules and pre-plan.

Use one system to run your business and production.

With machinery integration, Q2S MES’s Finite Capacity Planner and Production Scheduling can signal production bottlenecks before they happen. This allows scheduling to adjust and notify the customer before a delivery is late. You can also record machinery downtime for changing out parts or planned and unplanned maintenance activities.

When you plan for maintenance, capacity can accommodate and automatically move out work to the next shift or day.

Update a BOM in process

Changes happen on the floor. With Q2S ERP, your workers can edit quantities and swap materials within a BOM on the shop floor. This provides an accurate inventory without cycle counting and gives you accurate job costing. Plus you’ll be able to review expected versus actual material consumption for the job.

A dynamic and flexible solution

Q2S ERP offers a flexible solution for the evolving needs of metal fabricators—from sales to shipment and everything in between. Contact info@q2serp.com to schedule a discussion to see if we are a fit.