6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 27, 2013 12:36 PM by Drew Adams

    Using EPDM to Estimate Costs

    Drew Adams

      Hi Everybody

       

       

      I was wondering if anybody has any familiarity with using EPDM to estimate costs.  Basically, I have a very large library of parts, and I want to be able to estimate costs on the fly as I add them to an assembly.  Ideally, I'd want to be able to have the cost value linked between the SWX Part Files and a ERP and CRM software, as well.

       

      What's the most efficient way to do this?  Any suggestions or ideas on the best way to get started would be greatly appreciated!

       

      Thanks!

       

      -Drew

        • Re: Using EPDM to Estimate Costs
          Jeff Sweeney

          You thinking of storing the cost information in EPDM [via a version free variable] or using SQL to use the part's ID to cross reference to your ERP?

            • Re: Using EPDM to Estimate Costs
              Drew Adams

              As of right now, I have custom properties in the Part files and on the data cards for the cost information, but am open to suggestions.  There's another curveball here, too.  The cost for the same part can change based on whether it's "purchased' or "rented."  The idea here is that as components are added to an assembly, the designers can look at the BOM to estimate the total cost of the assembly, and then sub out parts or tweak whether the part is to be bought or rented to try to complete projects within the client's budget, if that makes sense....

               

              I'm not sure the best way to go about it yet, but am very much open to suggestions.

               

              Thanks!

                • Re: Using EPDM to Estimate Costs
                  Jeff Sweeney

                  I do like the idea of having the cost in the data card with a version free variable. You can’t make life or death decisions with it, prices change with quantity/delivery/time…but it gives good belly rub numbers.

                   

                  I’d start off with some middleware, to update the cost information in the data card. This would get you a good percentage of the way there fast; your users have easy access to the data card information at design time.

                   

                  Maybe you have several cost fields representing rented or purchased values.

                   

                  Next I would write a SolidWorks macro that digs through the design tree, and adds up the cost considering the quantities.

                    • Re: Using EPDM to Estimate Costs
                      Drew Adams

                      I was also leaning towards version free variable.  It's mainly for estimating purposes at the moment.  As the assembly grows in complexity, the designers can get an idea of how quickly the cost is adding up. 

                       

                      What do you mean by "middleware"????    As of right now, I've left all of the cost custom props at zero.  I have about 1000 parts, with a couple hundred configs each.  (Standard profile extrusions, with different lengths, and some with a couple different features, cutouts etc)

                       

                      Ideally, I need to come up with a system to make "hot swapping" these components quick and easy, and have the costs estimate update. 


                      I can whip up the macro to dig through the tree and add up the costs based on quantities, but I don't know what to do to get to that point.....yet.....

                       

                      Thanks Jeff!

                        • Re: Using EPDM to Estimate Costs
                          Jeff Sweeney

                          There is no [practical/supported] way to link a field on a data card directly to an external database value [enhancement request vote!]. Middleware would be some sort of application to link EPDM to your ERP.

                           

                          The middleware could be triggered with a button on the data card, a task that runs every X number of hours, when the file gets checked in, etc.

                            • Re: Using EPDM to Estimate Costs
                              Drew Adams

                              Ah, I gotcha.   Now to find that sort of application. 

                               

                              Another side question, maybe warranting its own post...  I'm debating this one myself....   Is it better to have separate part files for each size of the same part, or to use separate configs within the same part.  I know there are pros and cons to each, but lately I've been leaning towards saving out each config as its own part file in the vault, and using Replace Components to make changes in an assembly, rather than configuring the components.....

                               

                              Seems like it would be easier for costing purposes, as I can assign different costs to the part files themselves, instead of trying to reference configuration specific properties.