Accurately Estimating Order Completion Date

The line between sales and production is a tricky one for manufacturers to navigate. Sales is responsible for the customer relationship and customer satisfaction, while production has targets and metrics to hit in order to keep all customers happy. Does the sales team drive the production schedule, or does the production team determine the promise dates? It’s a prevalent tension for every small business.

Wherever your company lands on this topic, sales still must be able to provide an accurate promise date to the customer. It’s critical in quoting and winning the job, but you cannot overshoot the promise due to late/short material or lack of visibility into a production lead time.

So how can sales determine a potential ship date, and when a product can be built? There is a page within Cetec ERP that solves this exact problem for any BOM (bill of materials) you have in the system!

There are two primary obstacles to starting and completing work on a BOM: the labor estimate and inventory availability. The Build Estimate page on the part record for a BOM provides detailed information for both of these in relation to the quantity of BOMs that you’re trying to build. It examines what inventory is available and the lead times for components and raw materials that aren’t available yet, in order to give you an estimated work start date. The Build Estimate even traverses through any and all subassemblies, to consider its production lead time and the inventory availability of those components. This data is used to give you a good work start date.

Cetec ERP then examines the labor plan of the top level BOM and quantity you want to build, and provides a number of build days to calculate an estimated completion date. If you were concerned about an ‘avail to promise’ date for sales, this would be your best case ship date.

So, how do you access the Build Estimate page?

  • In order to get to this page, you’ll need to navigate to one of your assemblies’ part records in your environment. You can do that by searching for the assembly in the Global Search Bar in the top right hand corner of your environment. Type in the assembly’s name or description, click on the part record that pops up, and that’ll take you to the part record.


  • After clicking into the part record for your assembly, you’ll see a link on your left hand navigation menu called “BOM Data+”. That’s a dropdown menu that you can click on to see other links related to BOM Data for that specific prcpart. Click into BOM Data+ to populate a dropdown menu where you’ll see the “Build Estimate” link. Click into that link to redirect you to the Build Estimate page for that specific assembly.


  • On the build estimate page, you can specify which location where you’re wanting to see the estimate work. You can specify which revision you would like to use, and input the build qty in the build estimate page header. The build estimate page also gives you an ‘estimated’ Work Start Date and Work Finish Date based on the Build Qty, Location, and Revision filters that you have set in the header.


  • From this point, you can look through a number of Production scheduling reports such as the Gantt Chart, the Order Schedule Summary, or Schedule by Production Line, to know when production has availability to actually start work based on the existing schedule and capacity. Check out our Scheduling documentation here.

The Build Estimate screen will allow sales and production to have a centralized view of all pertinent information to be aligned on sales promise dates and the production schedule. No matter how complicated the BOM or building process is for any finished good, this screen keeps your teams in lockstep and your customers happy!