Cutting Calculator

The Tool that expanded a business 

Situation

Midtown Lumber’s specialty as a business was cutting custom size wood orders. The process for creating the quotes was slow and inconsistent.

I wanted to create a systemized way to charge the customer appropriately while developing consistency in pricing.

Task

My task was to create a way that any salesperson could create a quote and the pricing would be the same every time.

I would work with the stakeholders to determine what prices were fair for both the business and the customer, no matter how large or small the custom cut piece.

Actions

The result was a Google Sheet Calculator where the salesperson picks a material, types in the two dimensions and the calculator spits out a price.

This calculator has brought consistency to pricing custom cut orders and has given the business the ability to hire new salespeople and grow.

Results

I ended up going through old custom cut orders and looked for patterns in pricing the custom orders.

From there, I worked with stakeholders to develop logical ranges in prices.

Overview and Problem

Midtown Lumber is a family owned lumber yard in New York City. The company has operated for over 50+ years, specializing in cutting wood to custom, exact sizes.

The problem was that only the stakeholders could create quotes on custom cutting orders. This process took a long time and the prices were inconsistent.

I wanted to create a way to allow any salesperson to create a quote easily.

The goal of this project was to create a process where  quotes on custom cutting orders were done in a fast, easy and consistent way. The process needed to be simple enough to train any new salesperson how to use it quickly.

Original Pricing Table I Created

Responsibilities & Constraints

  • My role was to develop a process, tool and logic to consistently develop quotes for custom cut wood projects.
  • Create logical ranges in price based on the square foot (ft²) of the custom piece

There was no money invested in the project. I had to come up with a way to develop this logic and system in a way that would be easy for employees to use without costing the business money.

“Cutting Calculator gave the ability to hire people and give consistent prices instead of making them up”
Zach C.
Current Owner Midtown Lumber

Process

I looked through previous orders to find a theme in the pricing structure. I then worked with the owner to develop different ranges of pricing the custom pieces by using ranges of ft².

The stakeholders added value in helping me come up with logical ranges for pricing. This is where their years of lumber cutting experience really helped me create this project. They also helped me figure out the actual prices for each range based of ft².

Information Architecture and User Flow

“The Cutting Calculator made the business more like 7-11, streamlined and consistent processes.”
Dave L.
Manager at Midtown Lumber

Outcome

  • The business has grown to have new employees that can make sales on custom cutting orders, allowing higher stakeholders to do different activities to continue to grow the business, like making more sales
  • Order times were cut significantly, from minutes to seconds
  • Customer’s received standard pricing for their orders for the first time. If they wanted the same sized custom order a week later from a different salesman, they received the same price

 

Final Cutting Calculator (Still in use today!)