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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    You have to either state it's a "lot quote", or comment that each item cost is dependent on all being awarded, with a separate price for line only.
    .
    The customer could arguably send 5 separate quotes rather than one quote with 5 lines so its an uphill battle to fight the cherry picking.....but what about this idea: Quote the the 5 lines, then have a sixth that Discount of $X if all 5 items are ordered at the same time. Its entirely defensible from a scheduling, handling, cost of material viewpoint and impossible for the customer to unbundle the discount over the 5 lines. Might turn the tables back to where you want them.

    They'll bitch and moan about how do we do our cost accounting, to which the response is divide the discount however you please, but it represents real savings for us on the bigger order and is only applicable if all five are ordered. Disclosure, I haven't tried it, we don't really face this, just an idea...but it might be worth a try on a customer notorious for this

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    "Sometimes I tell my preferred vendor exactly what I am being quoted from others...telling them if they can get close I'd prefer to give them the business."



    That didn't surprise me, it shocked me. If it isn't against the law it should be.
    So it should be against the law for me to go into my local Best Buy, find the item I want, then ask if they'll price match it with Amazon's price so I can get it that same day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    "Sometimes I tell my preferred vendor exactly what I am being quoted from others...telling them if they can get close I'd prefer to give them the business."



    That didn't surprise me, it shocked me. If it isn't against the law it should be.
    Why would it be against the law? I am cornfused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    The customer could arguably send 5 separate quotes rather than one quote with 5 lines so its an uphill battle to fight the cherry picking.....but what about this idea: Quote the the 5 lines, then have a sixth that Discount of $X if all 5 items are ordered at the same time. Its entirely defensible from a scheduling, handling, cost of material viewpoint and impossible for the customer to unbundle the discount over the 5 lines. Might turn the tables back to where you want them.

    They'll bitch and moan about how do we do our cost accounting, to which the response is divide the discount however you please, but it represents real savings for us on the bigger order and is only applicable if all five are ordered. Disclosure, I haven't tried it, we don't really face this, just an idea...but it might be worth a try on a customer notorious for this
    That works fine the first time they place an order but on repeat orders when they only order 1 or 2 of the items it's in their system at the discounted price. Now you have to be diligent on your recordkeeping to notice this and explain, and requote.

    I just treat each item as a separate quote and if they order multiple items I bulk up what I can and pocket the savings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Why wouldn't it be? Taking retail into account, it's very common for them to "price match" so why can't a machine shop? For example, you *need* the work but the buyer says "sorry xx shop is getting them for xx dollars and it is basically the same as your price (you marked up mats more, etc) and you feel like you could do it for that price, why not?
    There is a difference. Making a proposal implies a private communication vs retail where the price is available to all. If you ask me to respond to an RFQ that is a price for you, not for you to advertise or disclose to others - no law against you doing so, but if you do you've broken a trust (or if you reveal someone else's prices to me, revealed you're not trustworthy) and that will affect how you are treated in the future.

    Aside from views on ethics or morals, the real reasons for "why not" is if you start gaming vendors, they're going game you back. You lose credibility on future bids. If I ever gave a vendor a chance to rebid or lower their price its a guaranteeing I will never see their best on price on future RFQ's. 99% of my customers wouldn't ask for a better price for that reason, they're large professional purchasing departments that know how to manage and get the best prices from Vendors. The one that does game, and I think shares my price, never gets my best price on their bids if they get a bid at all. Depends what style of business you want to run, I think the credible type produces better pricing in the long run, and most of the worlds professionally run purchasing groups would agree.

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    One side of the company I work for in my day job does DoD work and requires a certified purchasing system which for them requires a 3 quote minimum so for every PO placed there are 2 losers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IWUP View Post
    One side of the company I work for in my day job does DoD work and requires a certified purchasing system which for them requires a 3 quote minimum so for every PO placed there are 2 losers.
    Ya I worked at a place like that too. Where i am now is complete opposite. We don't really farm out work, but as far as supplies and material we just order it. If I need a tool or something and find someplace that is way cheaper I will bring that to their attention though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Why wouldn't it be? Taking retail into account, it's very common for them to "price match" so why can't a machine shop? For example, you *need* the work but the buyer says "sorry xx shop is getting them for xx dollars and it is basically the same as your price (you marked up mats more, etc) and you feel like you could do it for that price, why not?
    So it's OK if you spend several hours a day going over drawings and requirements, preparing and logging a quote/quotes only for the potential customer to share the price with a preferred vendor? Not in my company, If this went on someone would be walking the cheese line.

    This is not retail where the final product is on the shelf at Best buy and you go in and say "Hey, Amazon has this for XX cheaper can you match or beat? No, This is the start of the manufacturing process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    So it's OK if you spend several hours a day going over drawings and requirements, preparing and logging a quote/quotes only for the potential customer to share the price with a preferred vendor? Not in my company, If this went on someone would be walking the cheese line.

    This is not retail where the final product is on the shelf at Best buy and you go in and say "Hey, Amazon has this for XX cheaper can you match or beat? No, This is the start of the manufacturing process.
    Well to be fair, neither you nor I have the ability to control anything that a potential customer does, so no need to get bent out of shape IMO, but that's me. You can spend alot of energy on being upset over everything if you want but I prefer not to. Also, regardless if they share your price or not, good chance (unless it is an established long term customer which makes the point moot) they are going to come back and "beat you up on price" whether they indeed find someone cheaper or not so..??

    Besides, wouldn't it in essence be a detriment to your competition if they just took your price and said "oh ya we can do that for less", when in fact you have dedicated machines/tooling/secret sauce? They lose money on the job or make bad parts now the customer thinks "gee maybe we should have went with Gcoder's shop!"

    We had a sales guy who quit (several jobs ago) that took all his contact info and wiped it from his pc. The owner threatened legal action, and I am not sure of all the details of course, but it ended up there wasn't anything we could do but eat it. Sometimes people are just shitty and that's that.

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    How about this tactic.
    You want to buy a assembly machine or line.
    You send out what you want it to do to 10-20 sources asking for design concepts and quotes.
    Then you pick the top 5 and call them in for a big conference.
    Here you share all the design concepts and pricing submitted with everyone. Every gets copies of all the proposals and concepts submitted.
    The customer tells everyone that we like this here and that there.
    Then you ask these top 5 to re-quote and you pick from there on price.

    A similar price war concept used on blue print production parts even down to nuts, bolts and washers.
    Let everyone know everything and play them all against each other.
    Last man standing in the arena wins.

    Some of you in auto may know exactly the period and PA I'm talking about.
    It may be immoral but courts have ruled it is very much legal.
    It does end up in a bit of a supplier revolt and perhaps not the best end result from a quality standpoint.
    Bob

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    From time to time I will get a RFQ with a dozen other fab shops that were included on the email. I do not think I have ever once responded to one like that . I figure if you are searching for a quote that way then you really just want the "best" price (cheapest), and it won't be me so why bother.

    Like someone pointed out already I think, there are lots of places that have policy to get multiple quotes for decent reasons. If you are tax funded then being required to get multiple bids helps prevent people from giving every job to their buddies shop for an inflated price. The few small government jobs I have bid were all getting 3 bids iirc in my experience. I figure very large private organizations enact similar policies for the same reason. It is easier to catch shady dealings if there is a paper trail showing that possibly better bids are never getting the work over one same shop.

    As far as pricing being shared I can't consider how that could be an issue really. I give a price that I believe is fair and accurate, and it is the same price that anyone would get for that job, so you can show it to whoever you want what would I mind. *Anyone that has had me bid 2-3 jobs and not come back for any of them probably just won't get bids anymore, because clearly it is a waste of both our time. I really think it is strange to be suprised if your price was shared with another vendor though.

    Now if you have included design work or other form of IP with a quote, and people go around sharing that...well then that is completely unethical/wrong, and certainly theft if someone goes on to use that for the job. I avoid sending anything like that over without getting money first. I would never consider my price to be intellectual property though, how I get to that price is.. but that will not be included in what the customer recieves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    How about this tactic.
    You want to buy a assembly machine or line.
    You send out what you want it to do to 10-20 sources asking for design concepts and quotes.
    Then you pick the top 5 and call them in for a big conference.
    Here you share all the design concepts and pricing submitted with everyone. Every gets copies of all the proposals and concepts submitted.
    The customer tells everyone that we like this here and that there.
    Then you ask these top 5 to re-quote and you pick from there on price.

    A similar price war concept used on blue print production parts even down to nuts, bolts and washers.
    Let everyone know everything and play them all against each other.
    Last man standing in the arena wins.

    Some of you in auto may know exactly the period and PA I'm talking about.
    It may be immoral but courts have ruled it is very much legal.
    It does end up in a bit of a supplier revolt and perhaps not the best end result from a quality standpoint.
    Bob
    That is complete and utter bullshit on the part of the PA.

    I would never knowingly participate in developing a proposal for a situation like this. We have had years where our proposal efforts have cost upwards of $300k for projects that were never green lighted or they were awarded to others. Developing a solution for a mobile assembly fixture for mating a 150 ton rocket nacelle to a fuel tank with 6 degrees of freedom (we lost) or a control system for a football field sized 300+ axis 777X carbon fiber wing bond cell (we won) isn’t something you bang out over a long weekend.

    There are hundreds of hours that go into concept development, engineering to size actuators, motors, gearboxes, structural framing, drive selection, electrical system, safety HIRA estimates, software development estimates, machining, welding, assembly, test, shipping, warranty, etc. You can easily soak $50k - $75k into bidding a project like this. If the customer were to share the details of this effort with other companies they would lose all credibility with us and we would fire them as a customer.

    We fired a well known multi-tool company based out of Portland for taking a proprietary design we had developed on our nickel for a 4-axis CNC grinding process and giving it lock stock and barrel to a German grinder OEM in exchange for new machines at a discount using our control system design and CAM software post processor. NDAs apparently meant nothing to them.

    As stated above, not all customers are a good match for all suppliers. We avoid customers that demonstrate that they have the ethics of a feral cat.

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    I have not had the experiences that most of you seem to have had.

    I did a job for a customer that when quoting they came back to me and said, your price is way too cheap for the quality of work you do, is this correct?

    I recently had some work quoted here on PM, I had two shops do the work, to see whose quality was better. Prices ranged from $75ea to $20ea. Quality is more important than price, but I wanted to see what kind of work the two bottom bids were before looking at the larger contract. Company A did good work, all within spec. Company B did good work, all within spec, but over all nicer than A. Called company B about the larger contract and was told they had misquoted, having forgotten a operation, but were happy to re -quote. They doubled their price. I went back to company A and said, “Company B’s work was nicer, but they doubled their original price, can you improve your quality and re-quote?”

    Based on what many here have said, that was immoral, but I cannot see the immorality of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johfoster View Post

    As far as pricing being shared I can't consider how that could be an issue really. I give a price that I believe is fair and accurate, and it is the same price that anyone would get for that job, so you can show it to whoever you want what would I mind.

    Now if you have included design work or other form of IP with a quote, and people go around sharing that...well then that is completely unethical/wrong, and certainly theft if someone goes on to use that for the job. I avoid sending anything like that over without getting money first. I would never consider my price to be intellectual property though, how I get to that price is.. but that will not be included in what the customer recieves.
    this seems to be totally reasonable. If the quote includes details of complex tooling or assemblies that are required for the part or process, (as in motion's example) then sharing them with other bidders is bad, and if they include what could be considered a unique solution or anything approaching an invention, then of corse it's TOTALLY unethical. for situations like this a NDA is prudent, and may give you some recourse. (if you are dealing with big boys, however,they are always going to have the deep pockets for lawyers, lots of them).

    if it is less complex bid, but one that, say requires a detailed breakdown of labor, machine time, and tooling cost, that could be more of a gray area, but I would consider it probably unethical to share that with other bidders unless it was stipulated up front.

    design and architecture firms that propose and distribute unique creative product face this problem in a big way. in that case, its also TOTALLY unethical to take that product to others for price or any other reason, without consent. the boilerplate legalese at the bottom of every architects email at least clarifies the expectation that it won't be shared, but I don't know how enforceable that is, depends on the locality and jurisdiction and how much you have for the lawyers.

    the reality is we live in an era of "instant sharing", everything from designs of the simplest part to the most complex scientific equipment or chemical formula is out on the internet and if someone can make a buck off it somewhere on the planet (limited to that for the moment, at least!), they will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    I have not had the experiences that most of you seem to have had.

    I did a job for a customer that when quoting they came back to me and said, your price is way too cheap for the quality of work you do, is this correct?

    I recently had some work quoted here on PM, I had two shops do the work, to see whose quality was better. Prices ranged from $75ea to $20ea. Quality is more important than price, but I wanted to see what kind of work the two bottom bids were before looking at the larger contract. Company A did good work, all within spec. Company B did good work, all within spec, but over all nicer than A. Called company B about the larger contract and was told they had misquoted, having forgotten a operation, but were happy to re -quote. They doubled their price. I went back to company A and said, “Company B’s work was nicer, but they doubled their original price, can you improve your quality and re-quote?”

    Based on what many here have said, that was immoral, but I cannot see the immorality of it?
    I don't see a problem with it. For all you know company B misquoted it entirely and "made up" the forgotten operation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    That is complete and utter bullshit on the part of the PA.

    I would never knowingly participate in developing a proposal for a situation like this. We have had years where our proposal efforts have cost upwards of $300k for projects that were never green lighted or they were awarded to others. Developing a solution for a mobile assembly fixture for mating a 150 ton rocket nacelle to a fuel tank with 6 degrees of freedom (we lost) or a control system for a football field sized 300+ axis 777X carbon fiber wing bond cell (we won) isn’t something you bang out over a long weekend.

    There are hundreds of hours that go into concept development, engineering to size actuators, motors, gearboxes, structural framing, drive selection, electrical system, safety HIRA estimates, software development estimates, machining, welding, assembly, test, shipping, warranty, etc. You can easily soak $50k - $75k into bidding a project like this. If the customer were to share the details of this effort with other companies they would lose all credibility with us and we would fire them as a customer.

    We fired a well known multi-tool company based out of Portland for taking a proprietary design we had developed on our nickel for a 4-axis CNC grinding process and giving it lock stock and barrel to a German grinder OEM in exchange for new machines at a discount using our control system design and CAM software post processor. NDAs apparently meant nothing to them.

    As stated above, not all customers are a good match for all suppliers. We avoid customers that demonstrate that they have the ethics of a feral cat.
    yabut

    I don't think the OP was questioning an entire specailty built machine. It sounded to me more like "quote these 10-50 widgets", not a 3 million dollar machine/system

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    I have had customers "cherry pick" prices in the past............quote 10 different part #'s and they come back with a PO for 1/2 of them. I always let them know that I have to requote. Some used to get huffy, but too darn bad...............

    When I have a large list of materials out for quote, I'll get highs and lows on different items. One place has better brass pricing and another is better for SS, while another has a better steel selection. If some are way off, I usually let the supplier know and ask them to requote less that item(s). I never share prices either even if they ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    And this is morally and ethically OK with you?

    Yes.

    If its a good vendor I have no problem being honest with them so we can both get the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    That is complete and utter bullshit on the part of the PA.

    I would never knowingly participate in developing a proposal for a situation like this. We have had years where our proposal efforts have cost upwards of $300k for projects that were never green lighted or they were awarded to others. Developing a solution for a mobile assembly fixture for mating a 150 ton rocket nacelle to a fuel tank with 6 degrees of freedom (we lost) or a control system for a football field sized 300+ axis 777X carbon fiber wing bond cell (we won) isn’t something you bang out over a long weekend.

    There are hundreds of hours that go into concept development, engineering to size actuators, motors, gearboxes, structural framing, drive selection, electrical system, safety HIRA estimates, software development estimates, machining, welding, assembly, test, shipping, warranty, etc. You can easily soak $50k - $75k into bidding a project like this. If the customer were to share the details of this effort with other companies they would lose all credibility with us and we would fire them as a customer.

    We fired a well known multi-tool company based out of Portland for taking a proprietary design we had developed on our nickel for a 4-axis CNC grinding process and giving it lock stock and barrel to a German grinder OEM in exchange for new machines at a discount using our control system design and CAM software post processor. NDAs apparently meant nothing to them.

    As stated above, not all customers are a good match for all suppliers. We avoid customers that demonstrate that they have the ethics of a feral cat.
    So when the government is going to contact for a new jet fighter, rocket, aircraft carrier, etc. should they just call up a company like Boeing and say "We'll take whatever you happen to design at whatever price you like"? It's been long standing policy to have two, three, sometimes five different companies submit designs and/or prototypes, along with cost estimates, before awarding the contract.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhajicek View Post
    So when the government is going to contact for a new jet fighter, rocket, aircraft carrier, etc. should they just call up a company like Boeing and say "We'll take whatever you happen to design at whatever price you like"? It's been long standing policy to have two, three, sometimes five different companies submit designs and/or prototypes, along with cost estimates, before awarding the contract.
    yes - but sharing the ideas developed by one company with all the other companies that bid on the project is unethical and should be illegal.

    We go head to head on projects all the time where there are 3 - 5 bidders - with the expectation that our proposal and the engineering / novel ways in which we solve difficult manufacturing problems stays confidential. Again - NDA's are signed before you are even allowed to see the RFQ. No NDA? then no proposal.


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