Step 1 - Determining possible suppliers:
You need to decide where to purchase the materials. You may choose a local supplier such as a timber yard or the usual supplier for your company. Sometimes a wholesaler will be able to meet your requirements.
Quotes are generally called from your company's usual suppliers because:
• the quality of their materials is known
• the bookwork is simplified
• they already work closely with your organisation.
Other suppliers have representatives on the road who call in and collect requests for a quote, bring them back to their sales estimator and then either post or hand deliver the quote back to the builder.
Step 2 - Checking materials availability:
To check materials availability, phone around to find out who has good supplies. If enquiries are being made through suppliers other than the usual ones, alternative sources of information are the Yellow Pages, timber industry sources or other known suppliers.
When phoning you can also ask about the quality of material available. For example, if the material required is mainly building quality pine, the quality may need to be queried if the timber is for wall studs. If structural beams are to be used, then Glulam or structural oregon may be used.
Step 3 - Obtaining quotes from suppliers:
The next stage is the calling of quotes from these suppliers so you can find the supplier with the most economical price and service. These options are available:
• written request
• email request
• faxed request
• telephone request
• verbal request.
Most builders today mainly use email and faxing. Some builders forward their requests by mail but it depends on the office system in use.
It is best to invite at least three quotes from various suppliers to obtain a fair and competitive price. If you are working in a new area, you may like to try an additional supplier from the local area for an extra quote. If you have more than three suppliers interested in quoting you may like to ask for additional
Your invitation to quote should always be in writing as you will need to check what the quote is, based on the contract documentation. It also makes it easier to compare quotes. Many building companies will provide the site supervisor with lists of timber and all the other components along with the quotes received. However, they will also give the site supervisor the responsibility of looking at other quotes from the local neighbourhood or from sales representatives that
call at the site.
Most builders will invite quotes from local suppliers to 'test the market' and make price comparisons, however the supply and delivery dates must be guaranteed.
Generally a builder will stay with the main supplier. However if the project is in a new area then a local supplier may be given the job. This can serve as an indicator to the main supplier to 'sharpen their pencil' and not to become too complacent! Also if the job is in a new area the builder must allow for some
purchasing to be made locally as most jobs need little bits here and there.