Cost estimation can be a time-consuming process
and is especially critical for European SMEs trying to win new contracts.
Time is needed to create company-specific databases and software
is unavailable, inflexible or too expensive.
The objective of the METACOST project was to
provide software methods and tools for cost estimation in mechanical
engineering and manufacturing. The new software helps businesses
confront a thorny industrial problem requiring both technical and
economic know-how. The results are particularly useful for SMEs
where cost estimation is usually conducted by the owner of the company.
SMEs will now be able to respond to tenders more quickly with precise
and competitive cost estimations. This project has demonstrated
that cost estimation can be an integrated business process within
a company's costing system.
A number of project partners are now marketing
software products based on the METACOST project. Promising applications
are seen in the machine industry, particularly in the production
of special machinery, and in subcontracting areas where cost estimation
is often difficult.