It’s no secret that part buyer expectations of quoting have changed since the pandemic. In fact, the 2020 Part Buyer Survey revealed that 67% of buyers expect a quote in less than 24 hours (up from 53% in 2019) which leaves quoting too slowly out of the question. This comes as no surprise, as we as consumers can now shop for personal items seamlessly online, often with free, same-day delivery options.
Buyers are measured by their ability to get things on contract, on time, and on budget – in that order. Simply put: if you can’t respond to an RFQ quickly (that is, within 24 hours), your buyer will go elsewhere. Your quote is the first impression buyers have of your business and if you can’t quote promptly, how are they supposed to expect that you can produce and deliver on their tight schedule?
A quick reminder of our first two fatal mistakes of quoting: treating every quote the same and wasting time quoting low-dollar value jobs. Unsurprisingly, both of those pitfalls can lead you to quoting too slowly.
Here are a few steps you can take to expedite your quote responses (without sacrificing quality):
1. Gather all the information you need for quoting upfront. A control you can put in place to ensure that you collect all of the information you need to build an accurate quote is to build out a secure, user-friendly RFQ submission form on your website. This reduces wasted time going back and forth with the buyer on questions and pulls all the information you need together right from the start.
2. Leverage information you already have. Having the ability to reference past jobs will significantly speed up the quoting process. One way to enable this is by keeping all your quoting information – files, contacts, notes, etc. – in one centralized repository that is easy to retrieve data from.
3. Open up lines of communication. It’s important to have a fast and secure way to communicate with your team, customers and vendors about a quote. Otherwise, you’ll likely interrupt colleagues at inconvenient times, play phone tag with vendors before it’s too late for a response or potentially even send classified information to the wrong person. Using a secure online chat tool can ease this burden for your shop by making communication instant and seamless.
4. Build strong vendor relationships. Turn the cursory working relationships with your vendors into true business partnerships. It’s well worth your time to invest in gaining a true understanding of how they operate, why they price certain products the way they do, and what they need from your end. This empowers you to set expectations on quote turnaround times so that they aren’t being a bottleneck.
Start Building Up Your Defense Today
At Paperless Parts, we empower job shops by automating their quoting process through modern technology. Our geometry-driven quoting, secure file-viewing and sharing capabilities, online collaboration and CRM tools, interactive digital quotes generator, and so much more, are helping manufacturers across the U.S. quote faster, win more work, and grow their business.
Curious about the fourth fatal mistake of quoting? Click here to find out.
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