Updating ProcessesBeginning as a fabrication business, Penn Stainless Products has evolved into an organization responsible for processing and distributing plate, structural, pipe, tubular, and stainless-steel sheet. They stock over 30 grades of stainless steel, including 300 and 400 series stainless, 17-4PH, duplex steels, and high temperature grade products for shipment across the world. The processing services they offer include, saw cutting, coil leveling, waterjet cutting, plasma cutting, and laser cutting. The Quakertown, PA. based company specializes in custom processing and laser cutting tailored to their customer’s needs.
Weidenhammer has served Penn Stainless as a partner for over 10 years. We have partnered together on many initiatives, ranging from Website Design & Development, to Business Intelligence platform development and Report writing.
More recently, the Penn Stainless Products sales team had a calculator based in Microsoft Excel designed to calculate the price of cuts from the water jet machine used in their warehouse. The water jet calculator was programmed to determine the pricing after a selection was made by the customer. For example, if a customer chose a ring, rectangle, or part it would then format the pricing. After the selection was made, there was another function used to calculate the cost of the outer diameter, the inner diameter, the thickness of the material, quantity, tolerance, and grade. Within the same Excel document were multiple sheets of variables the calculator pulled from to determine discounts, shipping costs, and the final price. Penn Stainless wanted to expand/simplify their pricing calculator’s abilities but wanted to merge the water jet calculator they already developed into a new/broader calculating system.
While Excel is a popular and somewhat ubiquitous tool, using it to run core aspects of your business presents a major risk. Row limits, the lack of ability to track and manage changes, security, control and feature limitations all contribute to this. These limitations can lead to errors as well as a complete breakdown of the process. Penn Stainless realized this and thus asked for Hammer’s help.
As per Penn Stainless Products’ request, Hammer Dev was able to help them architect a new pricing calculator. Now built outside of Microsoft Excel, like the water jet calculator, it still allowed for the sales team to select the parts and size their customers wanted without having to use Microsoft Excel and the imputation of formulas to calculate the cost. An administrative function allowed for the adjusting/editing of tables to correspond with any changes Penn Stainless Products saw fit. All the variables and information contained within the prior Excel sheet used to factor final costs were moved to a new database. The calculations, previously in Excel Macros, were moved to a stored procedure calculations within the database. This allowed for greater visibility for the sales team and streamlining of data.
The changes in calculations for sales has made data easier and accessible. The new system allowed Penn Stainless Products’ information to be used in a way where it can tabulate the correct pricing model when consulting customers and keep sensitive data out of Microsoft Excel documents.
Weidenhammer has been an excellent partner for over ten years. When it came time to address our Pricing Calculator, I did not hesitate to bring them in to help us.“
Kevin Vargo, IT Manager