SFA: What's the Answer?
What's Your Waste Factor on Material?
What is a good average waste factor (WF) on material? Every material varies, but when trying to use something for estimating without drawing every estimate up. I'm in an argument with my sales manager and need information to help settle it. I've already looked through what WF we do on all our stock colors, but he doesn't agree with them. I think it’s higher on average and he thinks it’s lower.
Most slabs are 55-60 ft² so if my customer has a 40 ft² kitchen, I’ll price it as 2. If it’s a super plain slab, probably 1. Once we template, we try to squeeze in quick layouts to know for sure, but waste for me is 15-25 ft². But I’ve only been in the business for less than a year, so gather a couple more comments first.
Depends on machinery, how you seam, do you vein match, etc. Track and then you will get accurate answer for your company. The longer you track, the more-accurate.
Not doing layouts will bite you in the ass; it’s a necessary evil. Account for your labor costs for estimating and wrap it into the bid price. All your competitors do, and so should you.
Granite - 15% for speckled , 25% for veining. Quartz - standard slabs - 25-30%, jumbo slabs 20%, more if veining.
Those are pretty good numbers compared to where we are at. I'm starting to wonder if what we decide to throw is more than it should be.
We don’t do special-order granite so we stock about 35 colors. Speckle stuff I try to get about 77” ‘cause it yields better. Pattern ones I try to get over 124” wide. Realistically wastage is like 10-15% how we do it. Quartz standard is 64. Can barely get a 36” island and a standard run. Super jumbos are better.
We have all the technology you could ever need for the industry as it currently is. We picture everything and lay out every single project digitally. We just don't always (do It) at estimating. Just wondering if anyone has also looked within their systems to determine WF averages. If you sell material by the SF you have to know what your average WF is on that material to appropriately price it.
Angles matter too. If you have a job that has 45* angles and you are trying to remain seamless as possible, your waste factor goes way up.
I did a detailed analysis of our numbers two years ago. For over 50k ft² of installed, our waste factor was 23% for an entire year. That included broken and mis-cut slabs. (And if you claim you have never mis-cut one, your pants are on fire.)
40 usable feet out of 60 ft² slab. Maybe better like 45 but not always.
Not really enough info to answer your question. Where does sales manager get his data? On inventory, we are about 10%, with a 2-bundle minimum. For more than 2 bundles it can go down, slightly, based on a few factors (slab size, pattern, etc)
From history's past experience is where he gets his data. I'm getting it from Slabsmith and it.s not aligning.
Computers don't lie, unless you tell them to. You should be laying out every slab, until you get a feel for your situation. Asking what others' situation is may give some insight, but with so many factors that can vary, you are not getting any useful information for your situation.
Another data point to consider - is your remnant pile getting bigger over time or smaller?
Bigger. We don't have many coming in to look at them because we don't sell retail.
That points out a fallacy in pricing jobs by the square foot - you assume you will sell ALL the remnants. I haven't met a fabricator yet that does. Some claim to sell over 50% of remnants, but I haven't verified that personally. I usually see 10% to 20% of remnants sold - meaning the pile continuously gets bigger
These numbers I'm seeing here are better then what I'm finding. The lowest I've seen is around 26% on some of our large-format quartz slabs. Our average is between 30% & 40%. Some colors over 40%. Maybe our standard for what we keep is larger than normal.
I’ve always used 30% unless book-matched.
Waste doesn't matter to me most of my jobs are Slab + Fab. I don't care if you need a Bbacksplash from an additional slab, but typically 30%.
How much do you mark up slabs?
What way Is the wind blowing? Seriously though, usually X1.5 but if it's trash or super-expensive X1.9 .