5 Easy Ways to Get More Quotes

Sarah is a sales & marketing content writer, with ten years of experience within the engineering & manufacturing industry.  Working both at Qimtek and on a freelance basis, she can usually be found hammering away at a keyboard or with her head in a pile of engineering drawings. 

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When you’re sending a subcontract engineering project out to suppliers to be quoted, it can sometimes be difficult to know which information you need to include to illicit a response. Many manufacturing purchasers will have a bank of regular suppliers who understand their business enough to provide a quotation with minimal information; however, you will inevitably need to provide a more comprehensive breakdown of your requirements to new and unknown vendors.

A lot of suppliers are busy within the current market, meaning that more buyers than ever are having to look outside of their regulars in order to meet delivery deadlines. This makes the exchange of relevant information paramount to getting a good response.

If you’re looking to maximise supplier interest in your subcontract engineering project, then there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you receive the best quotes from the right suppliers:

1.    Provide Clear Drawings:

If you’re looking to entice more suppliers into quoting your projects, then it’s really important that you provide them with clear and accurate drawings. Not only does this show that you’re a professional buyer that suppliers want to work with, but it also removes a lot of the guesswork. A good drawing will give a supplier almost all of the information they need to quote the work, including component dimensions, material specifications and required finishes.

Whilst CAD drawings are obviously the more desirable option, this doesn’t mean that you should go investing in expensive software unnecessarily. Hand drawings can be just as effective, with a few small caveats – one being the use of a ruler where needed. A poorly-drawn sketch will betray a lack of effort, meaning that suppliers will be less inclined to put in the effort to quote you.

2.    Be Transparent:

Suppliers will always want to know further details surrounding the project to see if it’s a good fit for their capabilities. Therefore, it’s always best to be transparent with suppliers so that nobody’s time is wasted. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just looking for a one-off prototype – there are plenty of suppliers who specialise in that type of work and would jump at the chance to quote your project. All you need to do is be informative and honest to get the best fit.

The same can be said when it comes to cost. If you have a target price you’re working to, or if you require an economical solution, then be sure to state this on the project itself. The suppliers who cannot meet the cost will not spend time quoting unnecessarily, whilst the ones that can will be sure to get in touch.

3.     Make Yourself Available:

When selecting a supplier, it’s about more than just price and lead times. It’s also about the probability of being able to build a relationship with that supplier and this all comes to rapport – or lack thereof. Subsequently, you can only assess this by accepting calls from suppliers during the quotation stage of the project and having a conversation with them. By making yourself available to suppliers, you’ll get a clearer understanding of who is going to be a better fit with your business.

Suppliers will also be much more likely to quote your project if you’re contactable. Rapport is a two-way street and the supplier will need to assess you as a potential client, just as much as you need to assess them as a potential vendor. They may also have additional technical questions that need to be addressed in order to provide you with an accurate quote, and there is a level of reassurance to be gained from knowing that they can talk to you directly about any queries they have.

4.    Be Clear About Delivery Deadlines:

An ability to meet the required timeframes will influence a supplier’s decision to quote on your work. With many subcontract engineering companies currently running at full or limited capacity, it’s more important than ever to highlight your expectations surrounding lead times and delivery deadlines.

Whilst fewer companies will be able to quote a job with a short lead time, by clearly stated this on the project, you will ensure that the companies who do respond will be able to adhere to your required delivery schedule – or offer you insight into their best turnaround times, so you can make an informed choice.

5.    Work With Your Qimtek Sourcing Account Manager:

If you’re using Qimtek’s free sourcing service, then it’s really important that you work with your sourcing account managers when they’re compiling your project. They may well have a list of questions to ask you before your project is published – these questions are in place to ensure that you get a good response from our supplier membership. By providing your sourcing account manager with as much information as possible, we can send your project to the correct suppliers who match the capabilities, materials, batch sizes and approvals you require.

Remember, the sooner you can provide us with the correct information, the sooner we can get your project sent out and you can start receiving quotes directly from our members!


Qimtek offer a free sourcing service to engineering buyers. Why not use our Drag, Drop Source! feature to find your next supplier today?