10 Questions to Ask your Vendors when Obtaining an RFQ

When it comes to obtaining an RFQ and procuring materials for projects, savvy purchasing agents have their regular go-to sources and the smart ones always obtain multiple quotes to ensure the best price, but is the best price always the best option? In the commodity world, such as paper clips and rubber bands lowest price is king.  When you are considering high-value items or specialized services you must take other things into consideration.  Many times, when the quotes come back you might wonder “why is there a big price discrepancy between these quotes?”  That’s when you need to ask yourself if they are true “apples to apples” comparisons.  The consequence of making a wrong decision can be painful and expensive, not to mention the delays and having to deal with upset clients.  It will give project managers a major headache.

10 Questions to ask who obtaining an RFQ Request for QuotationReduce Costly Mistakes

As a recent example, a new customer had hours into machining custom aluminum parts that required mechanical surface finishing to remove the witness marks left from the cutting tools.  This process was to improve the aesthetic look of the part prior to anodizing as these were to be highly visible parts of a precision scanning system. To make a long story short, at the end of the day, all of the parts were rejected and had to be scrapped out because of an incompetent vendor. In this case, trying to save a few dollars per part cost thousands in rework and lost production time.  Could this have been avoided? Absolutely!

Ask the Right Questions First

I have personally found myself in this same situation because I didn’t ask enough questions when reviewing quotes. Knowledge is a powerful thing and at JIT Companies, we ask a lot of questions when a customer is seeking an RFQ.  Listed below are some basic questions or considerations I personally look for to help guide me in the decision-making process in order to avoid expensive and costly mistakes that you might find helpful.

Questions to Ask When Obtaining an RFQ (Request for Quotation)

  1. Do they have the capability and knowledge to assist with this issue or service?
  2. Is it completed in-house or do they “farm it out”?
  3. What is their response time for RFQ’s?
  4. Do they understand the project requirements and offer suggestions?
  5. Are quotes accurate and detailed so there is no chance of misunderstandings?
  6. What are the current lead times?
  7. What guarantees or warranties are offered?
  8. What kind of a track record do they have? (Is it a new company or long-time established – look at their Google Reviews for guidance as to their quality and service)
  9. Are they helpful when emergencies arise?
  10. Do they communicate well?

Count on JIT Companies

Our customers come to us (We refer to it as the 911 call) because they have a problem and it usually needs to get solved fast. We listen to your issue and then offer solutions using the most cost-effective processes we can offer.  The education and advice we offer are always free and many times it’s the difference between sinking and swimming on a project. Mistakes can be expensive and there’s nothing worse than finding yourself trying to shovel 100 pounds of manure into a 50-pound bag when things go wrong on a job.  Our goal is to get you started on the right path while pointing out the dangers along the way and if there is a rough patch, you can rest assured that we will never bale on you. If you are the one that feels the pain and consequences when things go off the rails and you’re tired of shoveling manure, give JIT a call, you’ll be glad you did.

Next time your project involves Mechanical Metal Finishing, Custom Laminated Glass or Precision Waterjet Cutting, let JIT Companies be your “Go-to” source. In the end, you’ll agree it was worth every penny, guaranteed. Contact JIT Companies today at 507-327-5240.