Providing a vendor with complete specs

I get sourcing requests from small companies all the time. But sometimes the person who is requesting something fails to provide comprehensive specs. For example I had a request last year to source a scrolled metal POP display.  The person sent me a sketch with very basic specs, mainly dimensions. However, they did not specify cast iron or wrought iron, what kind of finishing,  the structure of the product via a 3-d drawing, misc other dimensions etc etc. Neither could they give me a target cost or an order QTY except 250 pcs to 15,000, which right there tells me that the person has really not thought about the order.   Of course going to a vendor without all the specifications that the vendor needs  to quote on a product makes you look very amateurish. So I had to go back to the customer and ask them for the additional info. The result is that I never heard from them again. I guess they figured it was too much work or simply realized they were not ready to begin this project in the first place.  And I had another request last month where once again someone failed to give me comprehensive specs of a design driven product and then just seemed to disappear when I followed up and told them that I would need much more info, including sketches.

The point is anytime you approach a vendor for a quote you should provide as much detail as possible about your product. If vendors have to ask for a lot of additional info on your product this tells them that you are not organized, do not understand your own product and this will allow them to exploit you on cost and other things. I think it is always best to provide vendors with pictures and sketches as well as complete material composition/ pantones etc etc when asking for a quote.  You should also tell vendors how you want your product packaged as this is reflected in quotes as well.  All of this tells the vendor that you understand the process and they are likely to be more careful and accurate in their quotes to you and less likely to deceive you.




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