Case Study: How East/West Manufacturing Improved the Speed, Accuracy and Efficiency of the Quoting Process
East/West Manufacturing Enterprises (East/West) provides world-class Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) including high quality PCB assemblies, custom cables, and electrical/mechanical assemblies for many global industries. The company works with its OEM (original equipment manufacturers) customers from quick turn, low-volume prototypes to high-volume production.
East/West sought to position its business for rapid expansion through continued use of technology. Defining a change for success that would set itself apart from the competition, East/West looked to digital transformation to place itself at the forefront of innovation.
Seeking to expand sales, stay ahead of supply chain volatility, and expedite its Request for Quote (RFQ) process, East/West selected CalcuQuote to help streamline its quoting process.
CalcuQuote is a software provider of supply chain solutions for the electronics industry. CalcuQuote’s flagship product, QuoteCQ is used by East/West to improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of their quoting process.
In 2017, Andy Salo assumed leadership for East/West. Andy was an innovator who wanted to use technology to create radically improved business processes. A high priority target for this was the RFQ process which was previously managed using Microsoft Excel and manually browsing numerous websites for parts.
There were primarily three challenges East/West was trying to address. The first was to position business to expand sales. The team realized that investing in more accurate and professional looking quotes would improve the service experience of East/West customers, and thus business would grow organically.
The second was to keep up with the volatile supply chain, which included the MLCC shortages from 2018 and the covid-era component shortages. Larger organizations may be staffed with enough people to deal with the significant inefficiencies of an unpredictable supply chain. But as a rapidly growing business, East/West had to deploy its capital on something more efficient than just adding headcount to handle part shortages.
The third was providing a faster Request For Quote (RFQ) response time to their customers. Prior to implementing CalcuQuote’s QuoteCQ RFQ Management System, East/West required multiple days to respond to customer RFQs.
Andy and the team searched for an innovative way to address East/West’s needs around its RFQ process. Also important was that the solution had to be low maintenance so that it would not distract from the core business activities. And finally, with the company’s anticipated growth, Andy wanted a solution that was intuitive enough for new employees to onboard quickly, but powerful enough to handle the nuances that the EMS industry requires.
Under Andy’s leadership, East/West decided that CalcuQuote was the best solution to solve its challenges.
There were many benefits provided by CalcuQuote:
- To create a better quoting experience, CalcuQuote provided process controls through an embedded workflow system and a more accurate labor and overhead estimation functionality. The output of the end-to-end RFQ Management System was that customers received a well organized, professional looking quote, and East/West could feel comfortable that the pricing they were quoting was accurate based on a more sophisticated cost model.
- To keep up with the volatile supply chain, CalcuQuote simplified communication between component distributors and Contract Manufacturers. Utilizing real-time data, alternative part suggestions, and automated RFQ/Purchasing management, CQ allowed the East/West team to manage quotes in a unified system so they could focus on what matters.
- To improve response time, East/West made use of QuoteCQ’s comprehensive system to reduce manual work. This included simplified coordination to reduce queue time, simplified BOM import process to handle the variety of messy Bills of Material that customers sent them, API integrations with component distribution partners and an AutoSelect feature that allowed simplified decision making to be applied quickly across multiple decision points simultaneously. The outcome was that QuoteCQ was able to eliminate several hours of manual effort without sacrificing the accuracy of the quote.
- To manage varying complexity and volumes of quotes, CalcuQuote allows for customers like East/West to handle multiple volumes, multi-level BOMs, packaged assemblies and other different complexities that come with electronics customers.
With any new software, one of the biggest risks is resistance to change and failure to adopt. East/West led the implementation from the top, which resulted in an engaged and excited team. CalcuQuote’s dedicated onboarding experience allowed the East/West team to learn the software through guided onboarding and configuration, personalized training, and ongoing support.
East/West had powered its RFQ process with CalcuQuote within 30 days of kicking off the implementation. Since 2018, East/West has doubled the number of quotes, improved their on-time delivery and have been able to do this without adding headcount to their quoting team.