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Sunset Metal Works Introduces aPriori to Bolster RFQ Response Time

January 24, 2014

aPriori, a provider of enterprise product cost management software solutions, announced that its platform has been successfully deployed by Sunset Metal Works, a contract manufacturer of metal weldments and fabrications for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

According to a release, the company is using aPriori's software to automate its product cost estimating processes and reduce the time it takes to respond to requests for quotation (RFQ) from its OEM customers in the agriculture/construction equipment, aerial work platforms, vertical transportation, oil/gas equipment and defense industries. Sunset has already seen improvements of 300 percent in their quote times with 3-D models. Once aPriori is fully implemented, their goal is to turn around weldment packages within five days for OEM customers.

Sunset Metal Works has relied heavily on "tribal knowledge" and experience in its cost estimating efforts. The process was thorough, but lengthy, making it difficult to respond to RFQ's on new projects. At the same time, its existing customers were also looking for greater transparency in the cost estimating process. This put additional pressure to document what were highly manual processes managed by a select number of product cost experts in the organization.

With aPriori's product cost management software platform, Sunset has a costing engine that can instantly and precisely determine the cost of a part or product from a 3-D CAD model based on the materials to be used and the manufacturing environment where it will be produced. With a click of a button, users can get a precise, real- time cost assessment at any time during the process. As changes are made, aPriori automatically re-assesses and provides an updated product cost in real time. In addition, the software enables users to leverage product cost data hosted in Sunset Metal's other enterprise applications including the import of complex engineering Bills of Materials (BOMs) from its ERP and PLM applications.

"We looked into other tools, but they didn't offer much improvement over our existing process," said Laura Nicklas Sponseller, head of business development at Sunset Metal Works. "With aPriori, we saw an opportunity to really differentiate ourselves and strengthen our ability to win more new business. The platform offers a much more in-depth product costing capability that enables us to respond to customer RFQs more quickly and accurately."

Sunset also anticipates synergies with OEMs who utilize aPriori and hopes to connect during design and production costing projects to share their product cost management assumptions and metrics via the aPriori platform. This will enable true, known cost vs. best practices estimates and eliminate unnecessary back and forth with the customer.

"Sunset Metal Works competes on its ability to meet its customers' unique manufacturing and product lifecycle challenges," said Stephanie Feraday, president and CEO of aPriori. "By automating the product cost estimating process with aPriori, the company can deliver higher service levels and gain an important advantage over its competition. It immediately elevates their position and their responsiveness while also improving their profitability."

Sunset Metal Works is a contract manufacturer of painted metal weldments and fabrications to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). It serves a variety of segments in Agriculture & Construction Equipment, Aerial Work Platforms, Vertical Transportation, Oil & Gas Equipment, Department of Defense (DoD) and custom work. Its services include shape cutting of all ferrous and non-ferrous materials, forming, machining, tube bending, materials joining, finishing, assembly and reverse engineering.

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