How a Price Quoting Tool Turned Into a Powerful Engine for Driving Business

Join Mike Perrot, Head of Global Quoting for Flex, as he describes the new business he was able to generate by using aPriori tools. What started as a price quoting tool has since turned into an incredibly powerful manufacturing simulation engine for driving new business.

aPriori enables Flex to rapidly cost complex products, including enormous fabrication products, precision plastic parts, and more. No matter the size or the complexity of the product, aPriori is able to rapidly generate highly-accurate cost models in just a matter of seconds.

Find out more about how Flex is using aPriori in this short customer interview.



LA: I’m here with Mike Perrot from Flex. Tell us a little bit about what you do at Flex.

MP: I run the Global Cost Analysts function for Flex, which is a $27 billion contract manufacturing company covering a massive range of industries. We’ve got 70 different sites around the world and 170,000 employees. Flex’s global sales team relies on us for accurate consistent, and speedy quotes.

LA: Could you tell me how you leverage aPriori as part of your manufacturing quoting process?

MP: From a sales process perspective, our team records all new sales orders for printed circuit boards, for system integration, metals, and plastics. Business comes in from our global sales teams and they rely on us to configure these opportunities into a pricing model, so we can go back to the customers and start negotiating. Our teams focuses on raw materials and transformation.

LA: Okay.

MP: The raw materials is done by the global material’s commodity management and supply chain teams. So, we’ll take a bill of material and break it down into what we need to make versus what we need to buy. And we’d send the buy stuff to our supply chain team. And then the make part is where we come in and figure out how we’re going to manufacture this, costs from a labor point of view: from direct labor, overhead, depreciation, facilities, etc.

aPriori allows us to cost complex products like metal fabrication products, big racks and plastic parts from precision plastics, up to general plastics. We can take the customer’s 3D model, import it right into aPriori, and allow the technology to give us very precise building material structures, manufacturing processes, and more. Before aPriori, we had to do this manually with 2D models and manually pull all the information out of it.

LA: And the time difference to do that must be huge.

How Generating Customer Quotes with Automation Significantly Decreases Lead Times

MP: Using aPriori’s manufacturing cost estimating software takes us 30 seconds to generate quotes in real-time. Before aPriori, this took us three days to go and pull the building material. Not only is that a huge time savings for us, but we can rely on accurate quotes coming out of the work we do in aPriori. So we can send our make vs buy analysis immediately, and off it goes to the supply chain. Meanwhile, the engineering team are doing the transformation modeling in aPriori. And then they’d re-import that cost back in from the supply chain team. So, it all gets streamlined together in aPriori. Finally, the cost information is sent to our pricing model, which is linked through the SQL Server to aPriori. And then we can build our pricing models, we combine products together, we can look at the full bond structure, we can look at the cost of the parts of everything we make and buy together. This gives us real accurate views of everything because it’s 3D-based.

MP: We can feel good that our quoting system is now geometry-based. It’s not based on someone’s subjective view of things. And also because we’re using aPriori, we’ve got a complete digital history of every RFQ we’ve created since 2018. Previously, this was all manually done, data entry stored in different databases and Excel files – it was just a mess. So, now we’ve got a digital record of everything we’ve ever done since day one. And we can see the trends and we can see where it’s going. aPriori is a very powerful tool to have.


Experience aPriori In Action Today

Put aPriori to work for you! Let our experts show you how the aPriori platform can transform your manufacturing process
Let’s Connect