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Author Topic: Free quotes and system design  (Read 1122 times)

Lee Douglas

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 05:22:32 pm »

Some times a little client education is in order.  Teaching them that creating the design itself has its own value.  Entire companies dedicate themselves to just doing design services so that installation companies can bid on that design.  If you are talented enough to do both, you can absorb the cost with a signed contract on the back end.  The other option is bidding on a design provided by the client.  At that point the design provided is not up for negotiation.  Rectifying poor design becomes a matter of change orders or choosing not to bid on it to begin with.  It should be that cut and dried. 
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Just "Good Enough" isn't...

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2014, 07:21:59 pm »

Some times a little client education is in order.  Teaching them that creating the design itself has its own value.  Entire companies dedicate themselves to just doing design services so that installation companies can bid on that design.  If you are talented enough to do both, you can absorb the cost with a signed contract on the back end.  The other option is bidding on a design provided by the client.  At that point the design provided is not up for negotiation.  Rectifying poor design becomes a matter of change orders or choosing not to bid on it to begin with.  It should be that cut and dried.

I have had clients so stupid they copy me when forwarding my quote to the competition. 
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Scott AKA Skyking
Passion Fuel Productions, Cleveland OH

Joseph D. Macry

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2014, 10:56:08 am »

Why do you think they want an itemized list? First is so that they have a "shopping list" and second so they can troll the net for lower prices and nickel and dime you to death so that you won't make a profit- assuming that they give you the job in the first place. My first rule is to NEVER itemize on a quotation. It's OK on the final invoice but don't give them fuel to go out and price shop or help the competition. And believe me they will show the competition your quote.

-Hal
Instead of quoting specific brand and model of gear, I usually include basic specs of gear in the design quote. For instance, instead of "Shure SM58S", I will write "Handheld microphone, dynamic cardioid with switch". For speakers, maybe power rating, cabinet size & material, and driver sizes.
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Joseph Macry, CTS
APT Communications, Inc.
Austin, TX

Ray Aberle

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2014, 08:50:54 pm »

I have had clients so stupid they copy me when forwarding my quote to the competition.

Sorta had that same thing happen a couple of months ago-- client forwards me a quote from another company in the area, and asks if I could get him a better deal. I deflected it as best as I could, as it was another stage at a festival I was already doing one stage at, and I didn't want to damage the relationship that I have with the other company. That, and I was out of gear for that day pretty much, so I would have ended up renting a bunch of stuff from the other company anyways!

-Ray
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Kelcema Audio
Regional - Serving Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, ID, BC)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 02:40:51 am »

Sorta had that same thing happen a couple of months ago-- client forwards me a quote from another company in the area, and asks if I could get him a better deal. I deflected it as best as I could, as it was another stage at a festival I was already doing one stage at, and I didn't want to damage the relationship that I have with the other company. That, and I was out of gear for that day pretty much, so I would have ended up renting a bunch of stuff from the other company anyways!

-Ray

I don't know if it's like it in your area but anyone who has been around awhile knows his competition, especially the worthy ones. 

Everyone knows the story of the young bull and the old bull standing on the cliff.  The young bull says looking down at all the cows in the pasture "hey I am going to run down and f... that one"...The old bull chuckles and says, I think I will walk down and F.... em all.

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Scott AKA Skyking
Passion Fuel Productions, Cleveland OH

Ray Aberle

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2014, 02:48:05 pm »

I don't know if it's like it in your area but anyone who has been around awhile knows his competition, especially the worthy ones. 

Everyone knows the story of the young bull and the old bull standing on the cliff.  The young bull says looking down at all the cows in the pasture "hey I am going to run down and f... that one"...The old bull chuckles and says, I think I will walk down and F.... em all.

Oh, I sure know who my competitors are in the area, especially anyone within 500 miles with VerTecs, and what boxes are available and where. And whether they're any good, or if the rig is stuck in an install, or blah blah blah. At the same time, we're all in this industry together, and until you give me a reason to dislike you, I am going to treat you with respect. I don't want to be "that guy" who takes a line item quote from the competitor, and beat it just for the sake of beating it, thus dragging pricing down for everyone!

Next year, though... with time to prepare, no such consideration. :D

-Ray
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Kelcema Audio
Regional - Serving Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, ID, BC)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2014, 02:19:51 am »

Oh, I sure know who my competitors are in the area, especially anyone within 500 miles with VerTecs, and what boxes are available and where. And whether they're any good, or if the rig is stuck in an install, or blah blah blah. At the same time, we're all in this industry together, and until you give me a reason to dislike you, I am going to treat you with respect. I don't want to be "that guy" who takes a line item quote from the competitor, and beat it just for the sake of beating it, thus dragging pricing down for everyone!

Next year, though... with time to prepare, no such consideration. :D

-Ray

GMTA

It's nice to be older with a mature business and have the option to take on clients that you want and will be a good fit.

Hunger breads desperation,  and I have seen some folks sign up for work clients or jobs that are doomed to fail or disasters waiting to happen.

The bull story is of course not a literal screwing.  More than likely I will be around when the contract is up, the new competition makes a mistake or at the liquidation sale.

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Scott AKA Skyking
Passion Fuel Productions, Cleveland OH

Scott Hibbard

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2014, 08:33:19 pm »

Alex this seems to be most problematic (for me) when working with school systems, who insist on an itemized parts list with the system quotation/design; else your bid is not considered.  This is presumably due to the fact most schools (not all) that use public funding (tax dollars) require such information. 

In cases like that I have to decide if I want to play ball or pass...

Good luck!
ScottH
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2014, 09:14:11 pm »

Does your state have negotiated pricing?  If so it's a great gig especially if you get SKU added.  I always try and bid the stuff on the contract.  Pricing is non negotiable and the labor rate is generous.  I like working in schools.  Highly suggest if you can partner with a low voltage company and pickup a line of bell prices.  I subscribe to the public bid service.  One of my guys is a genius for sniffing out the poorest worded and most profitable RFQ's they almost always come from the same numb but consultant.
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Scott AKA Skyking
Passion Fuel Productions, Cleveland OH

Cailen Waddell

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Re: Free quotes and system design
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2014, 10:38:51 pm »


Alex this seems to be most problematic (for me) when working with school systems, who insist on an itemized parts list with the system quotation/design; else your bid is not considered.  This is presumably due to the fact most schools (not all) that use public funding (tax dollars) require such information. 

In cases like that I have to decide if I want to play ball or pass...

Good luck!
ScottH

As a PM for a government facility, I ask for line item pricing on straight equipment bids so I can value engineer.  System design is different and are not designed by installers at our bid level.  A consultant or designer does the design work, we might for example list several dsp models as the design basis, but we all know the cheapest of the list is what will get bid.  The bid specs includes an equipment qty list and face panel drawings, one line system connectivity, etc.  We will accept alternates but the burden on the installer, to prove equal or better performance is steep. I can also make some pretty compelling arguments for compatibility with existing equipment. 

Our last theater used Yamaha CL consoles, biamp dsp, and danley speakers as the design basis, with a special spec item that a factory technician do system tuning.  Funny enough we ended up with Yamaha CL consoles, biamp dsp, and danley speakers and Ivan came and tuned the room

It's damn hard to obtain quality gear setup properly within government purchasing rules, so I'm pretty proud of the times we are able to get it right.


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