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HELP i've been let down by a supplier

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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:19 pm

HELP i've been let down by a supplier

I have contacted cherwell signs to order a light box panel for a client.
I don't have the space to make the board myself.

the price was good, i quoted my client all is well.
today i go to order, and they inform me this is not supplied with graphics even though that's what they quoted for...
just the materials for the graphics are £35 more than my quote to the client.

I quoted £260 for the panel, measuring 7455mm x 435mm.
I'm told this will need doing in three parts which is fine.
it's just the panel itself no light box.

The proof is attached below for anyone able to help
can anyone help me out here please? i need to get the job done, and not have it cost me money, otherwise im better off not doing it. im sure to someone with the facilities they can help me out and still make a small profit on the job?
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:48 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Are you looking for just the printed & Laminated vinyl for you to apply to the acrylic, or the finished job mounted?
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:47 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

a completed job, i can print it myself if need be, but as the vinyl isnt included in the original quote thats whats putting me over.
if someone is able to supply the board with the graphics for less than £295 (shouldn't be too hard) then it will be possible.
ive had another quote come back at £350 plus vat, which is simply a complete rip off.
cherwell quoted me £184.23 inc vat and delivery for the board on its own
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:53 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Hi Mark,

If you have it in writing that the graphics were included then just fight your case with them.

If I'm honest, the quotes you've had I think are cheap/relative to what's being asked so possibly you have underpriced it to start with. If you have your own printer and space is the problem, remember they boards are narrower than a door opening so even take them home and find some space between 2 rooms.

I wouldn't farm it out if it's within your ability, you could also put bubble wrap down in the back of your van and fit them in their then deliver to the customer.
If none of the bigger companies like group 101 etc are able to do this at the price then I think you'll struggle, especially with shipping those dimensions.
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

the issue i have is the vinyl cost, no point buying 50m of translucent vinyl for a 7m job.
cherwell offered to supply clear vinyl for me to print, at £47, which is more than i quoted.
plus, it has white areas and i cannot print white.

i quoted 50% on top of the quote i got just to cover fitting as it should have been a slide out, and slide in job so very quick and easy.
they havent written on the quote about the graphics, but they went through it all on the phone with me.
the price isnt bad from them, but i wish they hadnt told me the graphics were included. Im now left6 with a problem, do i continue and do the job at a loss, or just say i cant complete it? i dont want to look bad, but dont want to be working for free either.

Unless one of the members on here can help me out
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:28 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

I agree with Dave, you've seriously under priced the job as a whole. 100% mark up is OK on materials, but have you billed for the design time, and then hours fitting?

That's another matter, and you're in the hole you're in now.

Dave's onto something, find a space you can use to mount boards, before we moved to an industrial unit, we used a customers unit and dropped them a few quid as a thanks. Our unit now isn't massive and mounting boards usually see's us bending them up the wall as the leave the laminator.

There's a thread here about translucent films, including printing on clear post473901.html?hilit=Translucent%20vinyl#p473901

To give you an idea for 3x vinyl prints @ 2485x435mm we'd be looking to charge a customer £160+VAT, that doesn't include the acrylic, the hour to mount them, and then the fitting.

Carriage is going to be another issue if you sub it out.
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:31 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

As has been said, I think you have under priced the job. if your quote to your customer is more expensive than trade suppliers offer it to the trade then that should ring some alarm bells.

White areas do not need printed, it is the white of the media that is left.
You do not need to buy 50 metres of translucent, UKSG suppliers like Europoint.co and Wm Smiths will sell you vinyl in one metre increments.
UKSG trade printer James at Group101 could have done the whole thing for you at a competitive rate, if not better.

Personally I would email them and point out you have made a major mistake pricing the job by not taking into account your sheet material cost. At the end of the day, doing a job for nothing is not good business practice unless guaranteed a quick return on all future work from the customer. If he declines your new quote, you were making nothing in the first place, so nothing lost really!
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:31 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

You said you could print this job yourself, thats what I would do. White translucent film isnt that expensive (general sign wholesaler) and you can buy just what you need.

If I had to go the trade supplier route I would take "a pill" on the job I wouldnt ask the customer for more money once I had quoted. Its just a part of learning your trade IMO.
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:30 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

I don't think Cherwell supply printed graphics but I would give them 100% for product supply and customer service.

John

Not affiliated to them in anyway just a trade customer.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:45 am

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Mark Newman wrote:if someone is able to supply the board with the graphics for less than £295 (shouldn't be too hard) then it will be possible.
ive had another quote come back at £350 plus vat, which is simply a complete rip off.


I'm afraid I disagree. It's not a complete rip off - it's charging a reasonable amount which is something you need to learn to do if you wish to maintain a viable and profitable business.

If I where you I would go back to the customer and explain you have made a mistake and can't do it for that price. If they're not happy walk away. After all - they won't get it any cheaper elsewhere. Don't fall into the trap of being a busy fool.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:02 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Steff Davison wrote:If I had to go the trade supplier route I would take "a pill" on the job I wouldnt ask the customer for more money once I had quoted. Its just a part of learning your trade IMO.


If making slightly less money than wanted due to calculation error or making a mistake during production and having to swallow the cost then yes, something we all have to do and live with from time to time. but to calculate the job completely wrong to the point you make zero money, does not make sense unless you can recoup the costs quickly and is guaranteed on future work. Even if I did, i would clearly tell the customer of my error because getting your pricing wrong from the off is the worst thing you can do. Imagine the position in a few weeks time with the next job and it costs much more, the customer will question you on it and what do you say then?
"eh yeh sorry i got the price completely wrong this is the new one :awkward: "
it is here he gets to make the decision that he could have been given the choice of first time round.

It is easy to win jobs based on price... but try increase prices with a customer base you have built and you will find it much more difficult.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:29 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Robert Lambie wrote:
Steff Davison wrote:If I had to go the trade supplier route I would take "a pill" on the job I wouldnt ask the customer for more money once I had quoted. Its just a part of learning your trade IMO.


If making slightly less money than wanted due to calculation error or making a mistake during production and having to swallow the cost then yes, something we all have to do and live with from time to time. but to calculate the job completely wrong to the point you make zero money, does not make sense unless you can recoup the costs quickly and is guaranteed on future work. Even if I did, i would clearly tell the customer of my error because getting your pricing wrong from the off is the worst thing you can do. Imagine the position in a few weeks time with the next job and it costs much more, the customer will question you on it and what do you say then?
"eh yeh sorry i got the price completely wrong this is the new one :awkward: "
it is here he gets to make the decision that he could have been given the choice of first time round.

It is easy to win jobs based on price... but try increase prices with a customer base you have built and you will find it much more difficult.


Well I look at it this way, its not the customers fault I cant do my job properly. If I make an error I pay the price, I wont be making the same mistake again in a hurry. I would tell the customer I had made a mistake though, but I would still stand by the price I had quoted.

If they bought more in the future at the correct price, then good. If I never see them again, well tough, move on.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:37 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Steff Davison wrote:
Well I look at it this way, its not the customers fault I cant do my job properly. If I make an error I pay the price, I would still stand by the price I had quoted.


The problem is you are educating the customer to expect lower prices which is bad for the industry as it makes the rest of us look like robbing b@stards :blushing: :lol: :lol:
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:44 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Phill Fenton wrote:
Steff Davison wrote:
Well I look at it this way, its not the customers fault I cant do my job properly. If I make an error I pay the price, I would still stand by the price I had quoted.


The problem is you are educating the customer to expect lower prices which is bad for the industry as it makes the rest of us look like robbing b@stards :blushing: :lol: :lol:


I dont agree, Ive told the customer Ive made a big mistake ( if they want to cancel I wont complain) if they come back for the same, similar, job they pay more.

Your scenario, " dear customer, I made a mistake on the price so you will have to pay another £1-200 on what I quoted, I know its not your fault but take it or leave it!" I dont think thats very professional at all.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:51 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Maybe if you were Marks and Spencer you might have a point. But a sole trader struggling to make a living shouldn't compound his difficulties by working for nothing
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:57 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

I would have to agree with Steff on this one, it's your mistake not the customers, but then I was never very good when it came to the business side of things.
As for educating the customer to expect low prices that's not really true if like Steff has said you tell the customer you made an error while pricing the job but would honour your original price.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:03 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

I'm kind of with Steff, and also see Phil's point too.

It's never nice stomaching a loss, but if possible we have done, but if we're talking huge sum's we'll fess up to making a mistake, again it depends on the customer and the volume of work we get.

Two things I have learnt when you bugger up like this.

  1. Suppliers aren't going to do it for nothing because you messed up
  2. The customer isn't going to feel sorry for you because of your mess up

Hardest part I find when you know you've undercharged, is maintaining motivation, but it's a necessity or you just end up doing it all again when the customer complains.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:49 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Steff Davison wrote:Well I look at it this way, its not the customers fault I cant do my job properly. If I make an error I pay the price, I wont be making the same mistake again in a hurry. I would tell the customer I had made a mistake though, but I would still stand by the price I had quoted.

If they bought more in the future at the correct price, then good. If I never see them again, well tough, move on.


I agree with you if this was a tin of beans off the shelf, but not if the following:

* Survey and quote the job incurring labour cost
* Design the job - incur labour costs
* Outsource the materials from a trade supplier and pay them.
* Create the graphics and apply them to the job. incur labour costs.
* travel on site and install the job. incurring fuel and labour costs.

Receive payment for the whole experiences half the price?

remember this is a one man band business, It is all very admirable swallowing some costs based on our own stupidity but we are in business to make money and
completely wasting our time on a customer that you may never see future business from and still going ahead and doing a job at a huge loss its not in my view very clever. I just see it better to eat humble pie, explain your mistake, tell them the revised cost and hope they go with it. if they dont, then so be it... a lesson learned.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Robert Lambie wrote:
Steff Davison wrote:Well I look at it this way, its not the customers fault I cant do my job properly. If I make an error I pay the price, I wont be making the same mistake again in a hurry. I would tell the customer I had made a mistake though, but I would still stand by the price I had quoted.

If they bought more in the future at the correct price, then good. If I never see them again, well tough, move on.


I agree with you if this was a tin of beans off the shelf, but not if the following:

* Survey and quote the job incurring labour cost
* Design the job - incur labour costs
* Outsource the materials from a trade supplier and pay them.
* Create the graphics and apply them to the job. incur labour costs.
* travel on site and install the job. incurring fuel and labour costs.

Receive payment for the whole experiences half the price?

remember this is a one man band business, It is all very admirable swallowing some costs based on our own stupidity but we are in business to make money and
completely wasting our time on a customer that you may never see future business from and still going ahead and doing a job at a huge loss its not in my view very clever. I just see it better to eat humble pie, explain your mistake, tell them the revised cost and hope they go with it. if they dont, then so be it... a lesson learned.


I really dont see that it makes any difference, so costs have been incurred, thats part of the business. He's not losing all his money, he will get some back, but he wont get back what hes paid out. He will have to swallow the time...its just tough. No one paid me when I started out working 10 plus hours a day for next to nothing, so why should it be different in this instance?

Everyones opinion may differ, but I put more value on my reputation than I do on a couple of hundred pounds.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:36 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Steff Davison wrote:its just tough. No one paid me when I started out working 10 plus hours a day for next to nothing, so why should it be different in this instance?


Because he is being advised by us lot... :bigsmile:
and armed with different points and views he will be able to choose the advice that best suits his circumstances.
Everyone is chasing rainbows, some will get their faster and easier than others based on the route they decide to take.
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:13 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

I think that is the important thing here, different people have different points of view about what is the best way forward & the only person who can decide is Mark. Hopefully the advice given here can help him decide what to do next.
I tend to agree with Steff, explain the problem to the customer but offer to honour the original price, my reason for that would be that my reputation is important & I would like to protect it even though I may never do any more work for that particular customer, after all you don't know who they know & what work they could send your way.
Having said that I was a busy fool a lot of the time & all I achieved was making myself extremely ill so I am probably not the best person to seek advice about business from :blushing: :blushing:
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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:32 pm

Re: HELP i've been let down by a supplier

Thats just it Martin, he now has several varying opinions to consider...
I am sure Mark will have his own opinion on what way he will deal with this, but its what makes everyones collective views posted here valuable.

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