What is 4cost-aces?
4cost-aces enables you to create valid and resilient cost estimates for electronic and mechanical components/assemblies as well as for software developments and complete projects in a short time.
The parametric calculation model of 4cost-aces provides you with well-founded results at an early stage and ensures company-wide cost transparency across all project phases. For fast and secure decisions.
Areas of application
Valid cost estimates from the earliest phase onwards
The potential for cost optimisation is greatest in the idea and development phase of a product. Decisions made at this stage account for about 80 % of the final product costs. Manufacturing companies that want to remain competitive in the future need a detailed insight into the cost structure of their products as early as possible.
4cost-aces has been specially developed to provide meaningful analyses quickly and with a few inputs. The software enables you to uncover and exploit potential savings in both development and manufacturing costs at an early stage.
4cost-aces offers a standardised costing method that allows you to quickly calculate each product component using the same five parameter inputs. This saves a lot of time and streamlines your information gathering processes.
Thanks to the universal cost functions of 4cost-aces there is no need to initialise the software beforehand. You can start your first cost calculation immediately after installation.
Achieve usable results quickly without time-consuming research and modelling in advance. 4cost-aces provides you with a variety of data on material prices and machining factors. Also, the software contains numerous pre-modelled items for general and specific components/assemblies.
These are regularly updated by us, but can also be customised company-specific.
The intuitive modular system of 4cost-aces enables you to quickly create comprehensible, flexible project and product structures. The level of detail can always be individually adapted to your respective needs.
You can save all the structures you have created in a central company database and reuse them in other projects at any time. This makes it easy for you to share your know-how with other colleagues and simplifies your teamwork.
Concentrate on the essentials when calculating your costs. 4cost-aces takes care of the rest. For example, the costs for assembly, integration and testing are calculated automatically. No need to have detailed information or expert knowledge in this regard to its inputs.
If required, the integration and test costs can be edited and calibrated via technology-dependent wizards.
In this white paper you will learn:
- How to optimise your project and product costs using parametric cost estimation
- How to achieve maximum transparency for the cost structure of your projects and products
- The advantages of the parametric approach over traditional costing methods
Simulate and analyse with a few clicks
Securing competitive advantages as a company in a global environment and recognising growth opportunities at an early stage requires comprehensive analyses of the profitability of products and projects.
4cost-aces offers a wide range of options for mapping different scenarios in the shortest possible time and evaluating their profitability. All results are prepared by the software according to the needs of the management and other relevant stakeholders and made available for well-founded decision-making.
4cost-aces has a powerful report generator that automatically provides you with the most important information. All generated reports can be exported as PDF. This provides you with meaningful results that the management can use to quickly derive measures, identify opportunities and minimise risks.
4cost-aces comes with many predefined reporting templates, such as the ABC analysis for identifying cost drivers. In addition, you can adapt the reports to your company-specific needs.
4cost-aces enables transparent variant analyses that support you in the design-to-cost process, reveal opportunities and risks and provide management with a secure basis for business case decisions, make-or-buy decisions and bid/no-bid decisions, among others.
4cost-aces includes a comprehensive “Search, Replace & Calculate” function that allows you to quickly make any changes in your project to investigate their impact on the cost. The cost scenarios generated in this way are presented separately from each other and can be compared and evaluated comprehensibly at a glance using the report function.
Achieve the optimum in your production processes by mapping and comparing the effects of different degrees of automation and process quality in terms of costs. This brings greater transparency to your calculations and creates a solid basis for external negotiations as well as for internal coordination by increasing the explanatory power of your analyses.
Effects due to different purchase or manufacturing quantities and different degrees of automation (batch sizes, graduated prices, production overheads) can be mapped holistically in 4cost-aces and decisions can thus be made more reliably.
“What could we save if we set the tolerance less stringent?” Value-analytical questions are answered automatically by varying all inputs of the 4cost-aces IndexM assistant. The selection of optimisation parameters can be set individually and saved in a template.
With 4cost-aces it’s possible to take into account the number of production lines, their utilisation and the production country.
You can transfer your projects modelled in 4cost-aces to another country or another currency area with just a few clicks. The software then determines the location-specific costs with the help of parity and productivity factors. Location scenarios can thus be quickly modelled, comprehensively calculated and transparently compared.
The data maintenance of the different location data is carried out twice a year by us. No effort required on your side. 4cost-aces uses the data from the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden. For maximum security and valid cost forecasts.
To ensure consistent planning reliability even with fluctuating raw material prices, 4cost-aces has a central material manager. With it you can individually adjust the material prices and properties and automatically update them in all your existing projects. This allows you to minimise the risk of the calculation containing an error, hence also in the quotations, for example.
4cost-aces helps you to validate supplier purchase prices in a comprehensible way by examining the price of purchased parts using the software on the basis of a few available parameters. The generated results provide you with an argumentation portfolio to support your negotiations with suppliers and to achieve a reduction of your purchase prices.
Thanks to the seamless integration of our software solutions, you can directly apply the overhead costs calculated in 4cost-scenarioanalyser to the cost calculation created in 4cost-aces. For transparent quotation preparation on the sales side and as a solid basis for negotiations with suppliers.
Consistent cost transparency throughout the entire product life cycle
Complete and overall cost management includes the consideration of life cycle costing. Here, not only the acquisition costs but also the costs for operation and disposal play a vital and decisive role – both from the perspective of the producer and at large to the customer.
4cost-aces enables you to completely map the cost structure over the entire life cycle of your product to be analysed. The insights gained help you to correctly assess the value and profitability of costly capital goods and to initiate cost optimisation measures at an early stage.
With 4cost-aces you simulate, for example, different operating times per year and map the costs depending on the intensity of use. Likewise, you can set different conditions of use and load scenarios in order to analyse the cost impact based on the application and simulation of these parameters.
In 4cost-aces, you can set maintenance classes and efforts as well as maintenance cycles (preventive maintenance) to investigate the effect and influence of maintenance scenarios on the mean time between failures (MTBF). If you do not specify the MTBF yourself, the system calculates it automatically.
In addition, various repair logics and strategies can be set in 4cost-aces (e.g., on-site, or the maintenance centre and at the manufacturer’s factory) to draw conclusions about the costs of downtime as well as the repair duration (mean time to repair, MTTR). This can also be calculated automatically by the software or input by the user.
Use 4cost-aces to quickly simulate different logistics scenarios to make informed decisions for the optimal localisation of warehouses and transport methods (worldwide).
4cost-aces supports you in determining the optimal quantity requirements for stocking spare parts, wear parts and consumables. In this way, you reduce downtimes, lower storage costs and ensure high product availability.
Use 4cost-aces to determine the total costs of the end-of-life of your products as well as all relevant follow-up costs for disposal or recycling of the product with a focus on sustainability.
Reducing mistakes through guided inputs
When estimating the costs of complex projects, a wealth of information comes together over time that must be processed correctly.
4cost-aces supports you with intelligent assistants when entering data and checks it for plausibility using various mechanisms to reduce errors right from the start and largely relieve and support you of your work.
Modelling in 4cost-aces is done with technology-specific inputs. This means that information is always requested in accordance with the manufacturing process. The data is thus entered in the individual technical environment. That increases the understanding of the application and ensures the comprehensibility of the calculated values.
4cost-aces enables you to determine machining degrees as well as raw and finished part weights from geometry and specific material information. Within the framework of cost optimisation during development, high degrees of metal removal can thus be counteracted in good time by adapting the underlying blank geometries and processes. You can use variant comparisons to find the best possible solution for reducing material costs.
4cost-aces automatically checks for inconsistency of the entries in the projects and guides to the input so that you can correct them specifically. This saves you a lot of time during the final check of the calculation.
4cost-aces uses stochastic methods (Monte-Carlo simulation) to reduce uncertainties in relation to assumptions made in your calculation. The resulting increase in the quality of the calculation ensures a risk-minimised basis for decision-making.
For the modelling of software costs, 4cost-aces offers a guided, simplified query matrix that can be answered without IT expertise. As a calculator, you can therefore estimate software costs comprehensibly via functional descriptions without the assistance of a software specialist.
For more traceability of calculated projects, 4cost-aces offers to integrate and displaying PDF documents directly in the project-file. All your drawings, notes, data sheets, etc. are at hand at all times.
Flexible data exchange across all systems
Companies usually use numerous software systems that provide information in different file formats.
4cost-aces supports data exchange with all common and well-known systems. A unique feature is the ability to switch easily between the top-down and bottom-up calculation approaches.
All generated data can be transferred back and forth between 4cost-aces and 4cost-structure as desired via drag & drop. Depending on the project status, the advantages of the respective costing model can be fully exploited and the results can be exchanged between the applications.
In particular, development-accompanying costing benefits from the integrated approach of the 4cost software suite, as early phases with limited information are combined with late phases with a high degree of information. For a consistent cost view without loss of information across all project phases.
With 4cost-aces, reading in the product structures and main parameters from the STEP files of your CAD application is possible without any detours. The structures are automatically input into the software, analysed and filled with the required, associated data to derive the costs directly from the design information.
4cost-aces allows you to import existing product structures and associated parameters from Excel files. Translation templates are available for the smooth and easy import of any data.
All generated data and results in 4cost-aces can be exported as Excel files and thus be used for further processing in other software applications.