Comparing Quotes – Tips by Nortech Packaging
When a product manufacturer is planning to purchase a new palletizer, pre-made pouch machine or any other piece of equipment, he is usually asking for multiple quotes. He does this in order to compare and review packaging equipment manufacturers and also to evaluate each proposal.
It is also very probable that he will almost immediately flip to the price. If the price alone is a deal-breaker, he won’t even take into the account the information on the other pages. However, basing a purchasing decision solely on price can eventually cost him more than he thinks.
Meaning behind numbers
So, when you got the quotes, what should you do next? The price may seem high, affordable or too low at first, but don’t let that stop you from investigating deeper. What is really included in those numbers and what is not? If you do an ‘’apples-to-apples’’ comparison you can eliminate any unanticipated surprises after the purchase and determine the best value for your needs. This is the way to avoid changes in orders, delays, and additional costs.
Each manufacturer has different company protocols and different interpretations of what is being requested. Therefore the prices vary. There are three common ways packaging machines are quoted:
- Package lump sum deal comprised of a base machine with a host of options and services added in
- Bare-bones machine with an à la carte list of available ancillary equipment and services
- Hybrid package solution that provides some options with the machine and offers additional ancillary equipment and services for separate purchases
It is very important to know exactly what is (and isn’t) included in the price. Did you know that ancillary equipment and services can raise the level of investment by up to 30%, or more, depending on the application and machine? In order to help you compare and understand multiple packaging equipment quotes, we recommend breaking down the sections of a quote and putting them into a vendor comparison matrix. Sections to include in a matrix include:
- Machine Options
- Factory Acceptance Test
- Spare Parts Kit
- Maintenance Plan
Devil is in the Details
Once you have a vendor comparison matrix, the next step is to research deeper to understand what is included in each of the numbers. Lack of detail can stall the purchasing process, and it can cause confusion in the future, especially if it’s not clear what is and was not included in the final number.
Look for these critical elements in a quote when you compare packaging equipment manufacturers:
- Breakdown of all system components along with an understanding of how the machine is assembled and the general quality of the build.
- Detailed lists of the specific mechanical, electrical and pneumatic components to be used.
- What type of electrical controls (PLC/HMI) are being proposed, do they meet both your line needs as well as your existing control structure?
- Step-by-step walk-through of the method of operation.
- Information regarding the machine’s specific features and benefits.
- Machine frame and structure type.
- Packaging machine’s utility requirements. If other options are available does it identify them?
- Parts warranty and time frame.
- Is there a guarantee on system performance?
- Supplier’s payment terms.
- System delivery schedule.
- System testing and acceptance protocols. What can you expect at the FAT? Are both parties in agreement with the testing and acceptance protocols?
- Is system testing included in the price?
- What services are available after installation (i.e., parts, technicians, preventive maintenance, and special programs)?
If you are the equipment purchasing manager, these guidelines should help you to easily identify the machine being proposed, the packaging machine manufacturer’s level of expertise, and the true cost of each proposal.
So, if you are in the search for the best packaging machine manufacturer, don’t forget to get a quote from us. We are certain that Nortech Packaging will be your final choice.