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, of course there is more to a successful project than just price. 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. JIT Companies is here to help reduce those headaches. Here are some tips for obtaining an RFQ and asking all the right questions to reduce costly mistakes. Still have questions on obtaining an RFQ? Here is a Complete Guide for RFQ’s for Buyers & Sellers.

Questions to Ask your Vendor when Obtaining an Request for QuoteWhat to Ask When Obtaining an RFQ (for custom laminated glass, metal finishing, waterjet cutting, or other service) -JIT Companies

  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?
  9. Are they helpful when emergencies arise?
  10. Do they communicate well?

Do they have the capability and knowledge to assist with the needed service?

If a company has the capability to handle a project, it means that they have the knowledge and experience on how to complete the task. If your project requires a high level of expertise in precision water jet cutting, for example, find a vendor that specializes in it, rather than a company who does it on the side.

Is the project completed in-house or do they “farm it out”?

If a company does not complete the entire project in-house, they may outsource some of the work to another manufacturer or supplier. This is important information to know because if there are problems with some aspects of the project being completed, then the buyer does not have to wonder who to contact to resolve the problem. There should only be one point of contact to avoid muddying the waters. JIT Companies completes projects in-house so we are able to complete them and deliver in a timely fashion . JIT personnel can answer all your questions and have rapid responses for any issues that do arise.

What is the vendor response time for RFQ’s?

The RFQ response time can be an indicator to a company’s performance. At a minimum you should be sent an acknowledgement letting you know someone will contact you shortly. Wasted time up front waiting for pricing will have a negative effect on the backside. JIT asks a lot of questions when preparing quotes to ensure you have the best information and pricing available for your request and in a timely fashion. You can count on JIT Companies responding to RFQ’s with a day or two.

Does the vendor understand the project requirements and offer suggestions?

If a company understands the project requirements and offers suggestions, often they will not just do what is listed in the RFQ, but also take into consideration other factors that may affect the outcome. This information is important to know because it will help prevent any problems from occurring during the manufacturing process. It also helps if there are changes to the project later on because the supplier will have a better understanding of what needs to be done and can help offer solutions.

Are quotes accurate and detailed so there is no chance of misunderstandings?

When submitting an online request for RFQ, buyers are able to communicate with suppliers about their project requirements. The more details that are provide upfront allow vendors to provide quotes that are accurate and detailed so there is no room for miscommunication between the supplier and buyer.

What are the current lead times?

The lead time helps buyers know when they should expect their product so that there are no problems with late deliveries. If a company has a long lead time, it may be difficult to meet project deadlines and this could cause issues. JIT Companies prides itself on having a system for providing quick lead times – even though the pandemic.

What guarantees or warranties are offered?

During an RFQ, suppliers should be able to provide a warranty or guarantee of their product, which shows confidence in their own workmanship and products. If they can offer a warranty or guarantee, the vendor is likely confident in the workmanship and quality they provide.

What is their delivery, shipping, and packaging process?JIT Companies transportation and delivery

The delivery and packaging process should be known by the buyer before they place an order with a supplier. This information is important for buyers to know because it helps avoid any problems during manufacturing or when receiving goods. For example, if a supplier is located in China and the product is hipping from overseas, this could add time to the delivery process. How the vendor packages and protected the products from damage is also important. JIT Companies ensures your products arrive safe and secures products with different types of packaging including custom built crates, doubled boxed with peanuts, vacuum sealing, and more depending on the contents.

What kind of a track record does the vendor have?

An established manufacturer with a long track record is preferred over a newly-opened company because the former has been able to find its footing and has time to establish high standards and trust with their customers. A new supplier may not have their product quality on par with other suppliers in the industry or in some cases, they could be trying to offer something new and thus their product may not be as good. There is also the risk of dealing with a new company because they could go out of business or change ownership which can cause problems for buyers.

Do they have experience in the field of work (glass laminating, metal finishing, waterjet cutting, etc.)?

Experience matters! Suppliers who have experience in their field are better than those who do not, especially when it comes to custom laminated glass, metal finishing, and waterjet cutting. If a supplier does not have enough knowledge and experience in the field, problems could occur during the production process and this could lead to products not being finished to spec or expectations not being met.

Is the vendor able to customize their product?

It may be necessary for some buyers to customize their project, and we see one-of-a-kind projects often at JIT Companies, especially when working with creative artists like Allison Luedtke. Being able to customize the product and make the vision come to life for the artist or buyer is what we love to do at JIT.

Does the vendor have a good reputation?

Before placing an order with a supplier, buyers should always do their research first to see if they have a good reputation. This information is helpful because it can help buyers determine if the supplier is doing their job as they should be, which could lead to problems down the road. It is also a good idea to look at their Google Reviews for guidance on their history of quality and service with past customers. JIT Companies is proud to have been in business for over 30 years, and has over 57 – 5 Star reviews (and counting!)thanks to our dedicated staff.

Are they helpful when emergencies arise?

The company that you choose to work with should be willing to answer your questions and concerns in a timely manner and be available to resolve these problems quickly.  The team at JIT are great problem solvers and have your back if an unexpected challenge arises.

Do they communicate well?

It is important to find a vendors with staff that communicate well with other people to avoid miscommunications and other issues that could arise. An ideal company should be able to answer questions quickly, anticipate issues, and work well with other suppliers and clients/buyers so that you are comfortable with the process.

Count on JIT Companies when you Need an RFQ

Before finding a supplier for your next project, buyers should always do their research firstOur 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. 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.

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.

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