Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Machine Shop Quoting

22 February 2024

Report by Danny Weller

Efficient quoting and estimating play a pivotal role in the success of any job shop, particularly in the fiercely competitive realm of manufacturing. The speed and precision of your quoting process directly impact your ability to secure projects. While winning more jobs is a primary goal for job shops nationwide, it’s crucial to address prevalent misconceptions surrounding machine shop quoting. Ensure your estimating team’s success by avoiding these five common mistakes in the quoting process.

Let’s delve into the key aspects that can enhance your machine shop quoting practices.


Mistake #1: Treating Every Quote The Same


A common error in machine shop quoting involves adopting a one-size-fits-all mentality. Each project is unique, encompassing specific requirements and considerations. Applying a standardized approach to every quote can result in inaccurate pricing, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities.

When faced with a Request for Quote (RFQ), it can be daunting and time-consuming to assess whether investing time in quoting is justified. Why dedicate time to a job with low chances of success if the RFQ hasn’t been thoroughly evaluated?

To optimize your quoting process, it’s crucial to gauge the likelihood of winning the quote and gather comprehensive information upfront. By doing so, you can avoid the inefficiency of quoting every job and concentrate on those with a higher potential for success. This strategic approach ensures a more focused and effective quoting process for your machine shop.


mistakes in machine shop quoting

Mistake #2: Leaving Money On The Table


Many machine shops unknowingly leave potential profits on the table by neglecting to optimize their pricing strategies. In the realm of machine shop quoting, it’s imperative to accurately assess the true value of your services and incorporate all relevant costs. Overlooking factors like overhead, material expenses, and labor costs can lead to underpricing, subsequently constraining your profit margins.

Buyers may not explicitly communicate their priorities or the aspects they value most. While they may stress the importance of timely deliveries, the actual value for them might be in receiving the order a few days earlier. Some buyers may request expedited orders but insist on maintaining standard pricing, putting shop owners in a dilemma about charging more for fear of losing the job.

To navigate this challenge, consider establishing clear standards for expedited pricing and transparently communicating these charges upfront. This proactive approach enables your machine shop to sidestep the common mistake of underpricing and ensures a fair and profitable quoting process.

inventory (2)


Mistake #3: Failing To Reference Past Quotes


An often neglected but valuable resource in machine shop quoting is the wealth of information stored in past quotes. Disregarding these historical references not only overlooks opportunities for improvement but also prolongs the quoting process unnecessarily. By analyzing past quotes, you can unveil patterns that assist in refining your pricing strategies, ultimately increasing your chances of winning more projects. Additionally, tapping into this historical data can significantly streamline the time it takes to generate a quote.

To capitalize on this resource, consider archiving past quotes, standardizing your quoting method, and centralizing your processes. This proactive approach ensures that your machine shop avoids the common mistake of neglecting valuable historical data, leading to a more efficient and informed quoting process.

machine shop quoting
Image: Getty Images


Mistake #4: Wasting Time Quoting Low-Value Jobs


Recognizing that not all quotes are equal and not every project is worth pursuing is key to efficient machine shop quoting. Investing excessive time in low-value jobs can divert resources from more lucrative opportunities, emphasizing the need to prioritize quotes that align with your business objectives and significantly contribute to your bottom line.

Avoiding this mistake involves understanding the profitability of your quoting time and establishing a concrete pricing method. Leveraging machine shop quoting software can be instrumental in capturing and centralizing data, empowering you to make informed decisions. This technological support enables you to prioritize the most lucrative jobs, ensuring that your machine shop focuses on projects that align with strategic business goals.


machine shop quoting-speed
Image: Getty Images

Mistake #5: Responding Too Slowly


In the dynamic realm of manufacturing, time is a critical factor, and delayed responses to quote requests can lead to missed opportunities. Quicker response times are proven to generate business, with 67% of buyers expecting a quote response within 24 hours and 78% of customers reporting that they purchase from a company that responds to their lead first.

In addition, companies generally take 24 hours or more to respond, with only 7% having the capability to respond within 5 minutes. In an era where instant transactions are commonplace, swift communication is paramount.

Efficient and prompt responses not only meet buyer expectations but also showcase professionalism and dedication, setting your machine shop apart from the competition.

To sidestep slow response times, adopt proactive measures such as gathering all necessary information upfront, leveraging existing data, maintaining open lines of communication, and cultivating robust vendor relationships. These strategies ensure that your machine shop operates with the agility required in the fast-paced manufacturing landscape.

machine shop quoting
AMFG’s Instant Quote Portal

Optimizing Machine Shop Quoting: Navigating Errors with Quoting Software


Steer clear of common mistakes and adopt best practices by leveraging AMFG’s quoting software for machine shops. Our advanced features empower your shop to effortlessly track and manage Request for Quotes (RFQs), streamline collaboration and workflows, and fine-tune pricing strategies, ultimately bolstering your shop’s bottom line.

Discover the Key to Tailored Quoting

Unlock enhanced efficiency, boost profitability, and set your machine shop on the path to success with AMFG. Our intelligent RFQ form empowers you to seamlessly lead customers through the essential details required for accurate quoting assessments. By consolidating all your quoting data in a centralized hub, accessibility becomes a breeze, providing the necessary context for a streamlined quote creation process. Elevate your quoting game with AMFG and revolutionize the way you approach quotes for optimal results.

Effortlessly Retrieve Previous Quotes

Harness the power of a cloud-based solution such as AMFG to centralize and store quote data efficiently. With this platform, you can securely save and share files without relying on additional file storage tools, ensuring easy referencing of past quotes.

Optimize Your Workflow

Break free from the cycle of quoting low-dollar value jobs by using AMFG to capture, centralize, and effortlessly reference vital customer quote data. This enables you to make informed decisions, prioritizing jobs with confidence and efficiency.

Supercharge Your Responsiveness

Experience a quantum leap in quote turnaround times, up to 10 times faster, with AMFG’s cutting-edge machine shop quoting software. By automating routine tasks, removing bottlenecks, and streamlining your processes, AMFG empowers your shop to respond swiftly and efficiently.

Maximize Profits with AMFG

Enhance your revenue potential by leveraging dynamic lead time options offered by our platform. Discover how AMFG empowers shops to optimize margins and avoid leaving money on the table.


We work with hundreds of machine shops to enhance and accelerate their quoting process. Take control of your quoting procedure and streamline your pre-production workflow: our real-time inventory management empowers you to efficiently oversee your resources, leading to a smoother and more productive operation.

Whether you’re an SME machine shop or a multinational OEM, AMFG offers a comprehensive end-to-end MRP system to enhance your inquiries, quoting, and pre-production processes.


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