You got the quote, now what?
Many product manufacturers are asking for multiple quotes when they are about to purchase a new cartoner, case packer or any piece of packaging equipment. This is understandable; after all, getting multiple quotes allows you to review and compare packaging equipment manufacturers and evaluate each proposal.
We are aware that most potential clients almost immediately flip to the price. In many cases, the price alone can make or break the quote, regardless of the information on the other pages. However, basing a purchasing decision solely on price can be a mistake that can cost you more than you think.
Go beyond numbers
So, you got the quotes, now what? When it comes to price, you should dig deeper. What is truly included in that number? In order to determine the best value for your needs, as well as eliminate any unanticipated surprises after the purchase we recommend doing an “apples-to-apples” comparison. This way you can avoid changes in orders, delays, and additional costs.
Equipment manufacturers have different company protocols and different interpretations of what is being requested. As a consequence, prices also 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 purchase
Depending on the application and machine, ancillary equipment and services can raise the level of investment by up to 30%, or more. Therefore, make sure to know exactly what is (and isn’t) included in the price. Breakdown the sections of a quote and put it into a vendor comparison matrix. This can help you understand and compare multiple packaging equipment quotes. Sections to include in a matrix include:
- Machine Options
- Factory Acceptance Test
- Spare Parts Kit
- Maintenance Plan
Devil is in the Details
Now that you have a vendor comparison matrix, you need to dig 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.
These are the critical elements you should look for 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)?
With the help of these guidelines, the equipment purchasing manager should be able 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 Tishma Technologies will be your final choice.