ALDEM and APPLITEC constitute a group of 60 people working as sub-contractors carrying out laser cutting, folding, sheet-metal working, mechanical welding and surface treatments. We are based at Vrigne-aux-Bois in the Ardennes region. ALDEM supplies its customers with simple laser cut parts as well as machine-welded assemblies, either individually or mass-produced. APPLITEC is specialized in surface preparation treatments such as shot-blasting, sand-blasting, and application of powder and liquid paint. At ALDEM we have three Bystronic laser machines, one of which is fitted with a system for cutting tubes, four press brakes and a welding workshop.
We had an obsolete software that only one person knew how to use, and it was impossible to import 3D models. Our head buyer started to search for a replacement. I took charge of the matter and in 2017 we chose the Alma software, which enabled us to deal with simple inquiries more quickly. A few months ago we found out about the assembly import module at a training course in Alma’s offices in Grenoble. We decided to buy this option, and as a result we will retrieve 3D files directly. Today there are 3 people who are able to produce quotes, which makes us more responsive to our customers.
We use almaQuote to draw up all the quotes until we secure the order, which represents 300 to 400 quotes per month. We have six licenses for the software. Three people create the quotes and the three others use almaQuote in consultation mode.
For quotes on 2D elements, we import the DXF files supplied by our customers. Sometimes we need to isolate individual parts in a DXF using Alma’s Drafter module (CAD). In addition to this function, we frequently use the “Add simple parts” function in almaQuote (based on a quick description of the part’s geometric characteristics), which speeds up the quote drafting process.
We also have three licenses for the Unfold module, for unfolding sheet metal parts. We use the assembly2CAM module to retrieve and make use of mechanical welded assemblies, made up of folded parts, tubes and sections.
We received training in how to customize the preparation document that gives the customer all the quote details. This gives us a template meeting the needs of our Methods Department to ensure proper understanding of the quote and start production.
At a later stage we plan to have an automatic interface between the Alma system and our ERP, but we want to take the time to design it properly with Alma and our ERP supplier to make it as efficient as possible.
Thanks to almaQuote we have become much quicker at drawing up our quotes. The software is intuitive and it was easy to get started. It makes it possible to import and use 3D parts and assemblies, and that means we save a lot of time. For example, using our old software, it used to take us 5 hours to produce a quote for a mechanical-welded assembly consisting of 60 to 80 components. With almaQuote it takes just 30 to 45 minutes, and more recently 15 minutes, since we now have the new assembly import module.
First of all, thanks to almaQuote we have become much quicker at drawing up our quotes. We have also become much more flexible. Three people can create quotes today, whereas with the old system only one person was able to do so. The almaQuote software is intuitive and it was easy to get started. And of course it makes it possible to import and use 3D parts and assemblies, and that means we save a lot of time.
For example, using our old software, it used to take us 5 hours to produce a quote for a mechanical-welded assembly consisting of 60 to 80 components. With almaQuote it takes just 30 to 45 minutes, and more recently 15 minutes, since we now have the new assembly import module.
To sum up, we are completely satisfied with almaQuote; this software meets our needs perfectly. I should add that Alma provide great customer service, whether commercially, with training provided by a very competent trainer, and also from technical support, who are very quick to respond.