Beyond Price: Considerations When Selecting Supplier Partners

By Craig Carson

As we proceed on the path to negotiate, bid and sell projects, one of the big decisions we make is deciding on our supplier partners. Although price is important, there are more considerations that come into play.

Pricing Details

I had a project several years ago where the openings were tall and wide. The spacing of the verticals was approximately 8 feet on center and they were 20 feet tall; there were nine horizontals in every opening. Due to the nature of the project, it was going to be glazed outside.

We had pricing from one supplier who looked at the project and provided us with a very competitive bid. It was their standard system with shear blocks, however, and I wondered how we could install the verticals and the horizontals at the same time, as it was going to be labor intensive. I asked if they had any more efficient options for installing the horizontals, but they didn’t.

The second company to give us pricing stopped and looked at the project and
strategized internally about how to make their system easier to install. They presented their proposal and understood the labor side of the installation. They even added some custom dies to allow us to stand the verticals and then apply the horizontals with a clever roll-over maneuver. After we finished analyzing their bid, we knew it was the one to use.

The moral of the story is the cheapest price is not always the best price. If you rely on factory take-off bids, be sure to know what is being proposed and that your labor take-off matches the system. If you need to go back and ask questions, do it.

If you do your own stock lengths and door takeoffs and send them in for pricing, be sure you’ve looked at the options available and have zeroed in on the best for your approach.

In Other News

Sometimes an opportunity comes along that is too good to pass up. This can be bittersweet as you have to say goodbye to friends and colleagues with whom you have worked for years. I’ve had such an opportunity, but before I explain, I want to thank my former employer Brian Filipiak of Alliance Glazing Technologies for the past eight years. We have done truly notable projects together with the help and talent of the operations and administration staff and the field leadership of excellent superintendents and installers. I wish all of you nothing but the best.

I am moving forward with a new opportunity that allows me to work again with an old friend, Chuck Mowrey, president of 8G Solutions, as we open a new branch in Denver. I’ve been given the new responsibility of running the operation as the vice president and general manager, and I’m looking forward to working with an excellent handpicked staff as we begin our journey to provide quality installations, innovation and products from the finest suppliers.

Craig Carson is the vice president and general manager of 8G Solutions in Denver

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