How Software Integrations Improve Welding Cost Estimation

How much does it cost to build a pressure vessel? For seasoned vets in the welding fabrication and design industry, there is no one answer. A variety of factors go into each and every bid, and no two jobs are ever the same, even if it’s for the exact same vessel design.

For your welding business, quickly getting enough bids out is likely just as important as the welding itself. Without bids, there are no jobs, and without jobs, there is no revenue. Therefore, getting enough bids out can be the difference between a profitable business and a failing one.


The Factors In Welding Cost Estimation

But it’s not just about the number of bids you put out, but the quality as well. You want to bid competitive enough to win the job, but with the right expectations and timelines in place to actually make the job come through on time and fully compliant to all the relevant codes.

And those aren’t the only factors. Who is bidding on these jobs and how much longer do you expect them in that role? What happens when they retire or move onto another job? Are they taking all of that knowledge with them and leaving the next person responsible for bidding without a repeatable bid process to work with?




As was mentioned earlier, there are simply too many variables that drive complexity and open up opportunities to make bidding mistakes. 

Of all the variables that go into creating a bid for a welding job, traceability is one of the most difficult to manage. The need to track all material, processes, and personnel is crucial for ensuring the job is done correctly and on time.


Each bid takes into account a variety of factors:

  • Material cost and availability
  • Personnel certifications, labor hours, and availability
  • Equipment needed and availability

Factoring in all these variables manually or with an Excel spreadsheet increases opportunities for traceability errors.

  • What happens when material price and availability change?
  • What happens when you need to tweak a bid and suddenly have certification gaps with your available welders?
  • What happens when multiple bids get approved simultaneously and you find yourself short on material, equipment, and labor?


These are questions that are simply far too difficult to answer with consistency and accuracy without the right software helping you with accountability.


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How Integrations Improve your Welding Cost Calculator

CEI developed Fabrication Manager with this exact problem in mind. With a suite of purpose-designed integrations, you can get all your welding software solutions communicating with each other in real-time, including live updates as situations change.

This means, when bidding, your ERP software tells your welding design and CAD software which personnel are available and with which certifications. It means your pressure vessel designs can align with the materials you have in stock. It means getting updated in real-time with material costs so you don’t underbid a project. It means having your QWPs and WPSs updated automatically as new bids are approved or variables change.


Personalized Integrations for Your Welding Cost Calculator

But Fabrication Manager is also adaptable with WeldAI, which means it learns the way you organize bids and processes and reacts to you, rather than forcing you to take on bidding procedures you’re uncomfortable with or unfamiliar with.

Whether you’re a welder, shop foreman, or manager of RFQ processes, each implementation of Fabrication Manager is specifically configured for your processes. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, this is truly software as a service. The onboarding team at CEI is the same team that designs the software, meaning each installation is unique to your welding and fabrication design preferences and existing software.


Fabrication Manager: Welding Cost Estimation Software

Ready to make more bids and make them more accurately? Schedule a time to talk with CEI. We’ll learn the way you do things, what types of jobs you’re bidding on, and show you how Fabrication Manager can integrate all of what you’re already doing for better bids.

Written by Mike Harnett

Mike graduated with honors from William Jewell College. After working in the technology field for Sprint, TechSystems, and H&R Block, joining CEI in 2002. With extensive experience leading agile software projects that meet the complex demands of the Construction and Telecom industries.

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