Lead Estimator

Location : 3200 Fruit Ridge Ave, Walker, MI 49544


Who We Are:

Challenge Manufacturing is a leading Tier 1 automotive supplier to a growing portfolio of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers. Since 1981, Challenge Manufacturing has grown from a very small shop in Walker, Michigan to 12 locations across North America with 4,000 team members supported by 1,500 industrial robots.   


What Makes Us Different?

Challenge Manufacturing is an employee-owned company and is currently ranked in the top 50 largest employee-owned companies in North America. Being an employee-owned company enables the Company to maintain a collaborative and teamwork-oriented work culture. Additionally, over time as the company grows, employees will share in that upside financially through ESOP retirement benefits.


Challenge is #PeoplePowered!


Position Summary:

Develop and maintain complex cost models for production manufacturing of automotive assemblies.




  1. Comprehend RFQ packages and identify key items and missing / conflicting information
  2. Process RFQ’s
  3. Communicate with sales, purchasing, finance, and program management personnel to insure RFQ responses are accurate and timely
  4. Monitor and support Estimators
  5. Assist with analysis of, and responses to, financial inquiries related to part costing
  6. Disseminate RFQ’s to, and receive responses from, outside suppliers
  7. Ensure all required tasks and considerations have been comprehended prior to identifying quotes as ‘complete’
  8. Assist with balancing department workload



  1. Working knowledge of automotive part production manufacturing
  2. Proficiency in cost model development
  3. High level proficiency in Microsoft Excel, including ability to follow and create complex formulas
  4. Ability to effectively communicate with personnel in varying roles, in person, via telephone and email



No direct reports, but expected to monitor and provide guidance to Estimators



This job operates in a professional office environment. This role primarily involves the use of a computer to complete job functions.



This position requires sitting at a desk / computer for over 95% of the day.  May involve infrequent visits to manufacturing floor and / or suppliers



  • High school diploma and technical certificate
  • 10 years of estimating experience in manufacturing



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 10 years of estimating experience in automotive manufacturing
  • Stamping and / or weld tooling processing and / or design


Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 




Benefits We Offer:

We offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, Health Savings Account with annual employer contributions, Flexible Spending Accounts, Company-Paid Short-Term Disability and Basic Life, Voluntary Life and LTD, Employer 401k Match, ESOP shares, tuition reimbursement, and paid time off.