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Design before Contract

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by JTBoh, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

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    So have a customer looking to have us "design/manufacture/install" a V-sided post and panel for them - seems like they sent out multiple bid letters to multiple companies, and award of the contract is contingent on us supplying a design before a payment.

    Just a quick poll - does your company bid on these type jobs? We already have an answer, just seeing if you might be doing something different.
     
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  2. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    We try to avoid it when possible.
     
  3. Hicalibersigns

    Hicalibersigns Member

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    Nope.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Some people will and some won't.

    You start out by saying.... have a customer looking to have us "design/manufacture/install" a V-sided post and panel for them

    Have they been your customer up to this point..... or you just have the opportunity of getting a job, based on a contest ??

    Either tell them you will supply the necessary specs for a cost, so all involved bid exactly the same or just give you a deposit on the possibility of your getting the job.

    Don't give stuff like that away.
     
  5. Dan Antonelli

    Dan Antonelli Very Active Member

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    Ask an architect to submit plans before being awarded a job. Why is your profession any different?
     
  6. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

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    This is a no no IMO.

    Whats going to happen is your are going to design and price. Then client is going to take your spec and forward to next guy with a note, "Here are the specs. Can you beat this price?"

    And of course they will drop the price because you did 1/3 of the work.

    In the early days i did this. And rued the day i saw my design in all it glory up on a building. That i had no part in...

    Now once in a while we will throw together a design as a loss leader to gain the confidence of a large client. But that is a personal choice.

    My advice would be to spend 10 min a a simple design. No dimensions. No specs. No specifics listed on your quote besides Item and Price.
     
  7. Graphic Destruction

    Graphic Destruction Member

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    If we do a design in this instance, we show the design on an iPad in person and submit our price on paper. No money, no artwork of any kind goes in their hands. Been burned too many times by the cheap clients & local hacks that couldn't put out an original design thought if their lives depended on it.
     
  8. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    That would seem like the most logical and best way to handle this type of situation.
     
  9. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Under those circumstances- no
     
  10. signpost-boston

    signpost-boston Making America great, one sign at a time.

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    my designs that go this route while viewable as a PDF file, BUT, there is a security code built in to prohibit from lost opportunity.
     
  11. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    No way. No deposit no designs.We ignore these kind of requests.We aren't the cheapest we are best.If your are the lowest bidder your not making any money
     
  12. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    got one within the last couple of months that wanted price, options, design, plans and shop drawings, samples of materials, spec's and they gave me two days to have it not only done but in their office on the second day (they were many miles away so we are taking overnight Fedex on our part). they were going out for bids and treating those that they sent to requests to like we were to be excited enough about them maybe picking us to do all that. are there really shops out there who will?

    I can't count the number of times we have received a "packet" to bid on, all ready designed and spec'd but done so in such a way that you know the people involved have never made a sign ever. I think those are almost worse than the other type.
     
  13. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    I like getting the "packet" to bid on, makes my life alot easier...THANKS GUYS!!!
     
  14. Border

    Border Very Active Member

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    This is similar to how I try to handle these situations the few times they do come up. But most of the time, it is deposit up front for anything other than a rough estimate.

    It's way to easy for them to take your thoughts/designs and submit them to other shops for bidding wars, another thing I won't take part in if I sense that is what 's going on.
     
  15. Sign Up Graphics

    Sign Up Graphics Very Active Member

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    Submit a bit, not a design!!! :goodpost:
     
  16. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    :goodpost::rock-n-roll:
     
  17. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    How you approach this will depend on how much you need the work......If you have plenty and can live without it, you can pass if you do not like the terms......if you are a little hungry you might have to play the "lottery" and hope for a winning ticket.....
     
  18. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    we when with such and such cause they had a design and concept not just a price...how do you handle that. i do alot of stuff that has to go to a committe and i and not going to the meating cause that will be at night when i have you know what i mean going on suckers.
     
  19. ova

    ova Member

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    Edna,is that you? Welcome back


    Dave
     
  20. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Spec work is just that. Speculation. Go prospect for gold and see what pays off faster. Some say go for it. No way for me. I am too old and grumpy any more to fall for the spec work bait and switch. Either they order or forget it. They treat us as if we owed them something. Stand there and act all smug thinking they are doing us a favor by asking us to submit a few designs and hours of work to finish out a bid pack and we fall for it. Our own greed is allowing them butt heads to get away with it.


    A dentist called asking for a quote on three banners. Each one a different design. Wanted a mock up of each one to boot. Asked him if he does mock ups of his crowns and why would he ask someone else to do work, use time and materials and pray to get the job. He replied,, "because that's they way all you guys do it".

    And get paid before you make the final install. BEFORE you make the final install. The one time I violated my own rule was last summer and I got burned. Had to repo that dam panel. Its still in my shop. I will figure out a way to use that alumalite eventually.

    When we start acting like a professional and use a business plan and follow it to a T then they will not game us any more.
     
  21. GVP

    GVP Active Member

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    We seem, perhaps, to have lost the skill to produce a quick pencil sketch to seal the deal? Before computers became so common place, "roughs" or "visuals" were the order of the day.
     
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