Request For Quote (RFQ) sites are generating more interest around machining shops and plants these days. For the uninitiated, RFQ sites allow “buyers” of services to post work online, prospective “suppliers” to review and “quote” on those jobs, and the buyers to then award jobs to one or more of the participants.
More and more, we’re asked by curious shop professionals to comment on how well these RFQ models work.
The short answer to these questions is, “You have to decide.” And that’s as fair an answer as you’re likely to get.
RFQ models vary a great deal from one another in how they charge to participate and where their customer service is focused (that is, how follow-up and post-award feedback is handled). Some espouse the “reverse-auction” model (price as the primary awarding factor), while others promote other attributes (shop’s experience, engineering collaboration, qualifications, and so on).
Since RFQ models are so different and are still maturing and responding to the markets they serve, shops will see varying degrees of success during the early stages of RFQ site development.
But these models are rapidly getting better, and participation is key to determining their value to your business. Participation in—or engagement with—more than one of these “engines” is crucial to your success with them. No one RFQ model can serve all your shop’s needs any more than one search engine can effectively serve all of your searching needs on the Web.
Research as many RFQ models as you can. Ask for real-life references (both buyers and suppliers of services), challenge the RFQ model to differentiate itself from its competitors, and look for ways to “try before you buy.”
Job Shop Site Of The Month
Armoloy of Illinois is an amalgam of methods and processes. It is part supplier (it provides thin dense chrome coatings), part shop (it applies its finishes to parts), and part franchise (it has several locations). The company’s Web site (www.armoloyil.com) introduces the visitor to its capabilities and processes in an easy-to-understand format, categorizing its services/products by market, material or context.
To have your site considered for Job Shop Site Of The Month, send your URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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