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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:28 pm

SOS Vehicles

I had to go and open my big mouth as usual didn't I! After saying I haven't done that many vans, I've just been asked to quote for 10 transit vans.

Initially I was asked to quote on one, and with a rough idea of what he wanted, I quoted £250 as its a fairly simple design with a small digital print on either side of the vehicle. He said, thats fine, we have 10 of them. Would there be a quantity discount?

:o :o Once I'd picked myself up off the floor, I said I would have to work it out for him, so I arranged for him to call in the shop later this afternoon and I'd have a written quote for him.

How the devil do I do this one? I've worked out my design costs, minused it from the cost of the first van, times it by 9 and added the original van cost back on, but its coming in at over £2k! :o What do I do? I've never done anything of this scale before (I can almost hear John Childs laughing as he reads this :lol1: ). Do I minus off a set percentage? Or is the way I've done it correct? Obviously I'll only be doing 1 design, so it seems silly to add the design cost onto every vehicle, but then again should I be spreading the design cost over all 10?

Talk about being flustered! :roll: Its a lot different to quoting for anything I've done before, but it has proved one thing, my Thompson Local advert has worked after 7 days of being out there! :D

Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated as I'm well aware that alot of you do this type of work routinely.

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:35 pm

Remember mate engage brain before opening gob :lol1: personally on 10 they'd get diddly squat discount from me don't matter wether you do 1 or 100 still use the same amount of material can still take you the same amount of time to do each one if you're on your own. Give them 5% only if they pay within 7 days otherwise sweet FA.
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:44 pm

i am with Steve on this one...... but insist on a heafty deposit
i have 5 large clients all with 30 plus vehicles and they pay the same for each ......
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:49 pm

Can't offer any better advice than that given, but I can offer to help out mate. That'd get the job done quicker and give me an excuse to come over again :)

Cheers Pete
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:57 pm

adrian@signrite wrote:i am with Steve on this one...... but insist on a heafty deposit
i have 5 large clients all with 30 plus vehicles and they pay the same for each ......


Sorry forget to say get a deposit well said Ade
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:06 pm

Agree with the above.

10 vehicles discounted means that 10 times in a row you are doing something cheaper that you should be. 10 times in a row you`re being squeezed.

Discounting works only for off-the-shelf items to clear stock. It doesn`t work at all to our advantage in this game.
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:38 pm

If he wants all 10 vans done in one go, we would probably give 5% discount off total price. We work on pro-forma invoicing, so full payment before work is carried out.

If he wants 10 done but spread over time and is paying per vehicle on completion of each, we would offer the discount still, but it would be knocked off the final van that was done, the first 9 would still be £250 ... as you can never be sure if they really do want 10 doing?

Carrie :D
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:52 pm

If he asks for 1 van at a time, then no discount. But on the other hand if he's looking to have 4 or 5 done on the same day, then I would give a small discount, 5% tops.
As was mentioned before, it's the same materials, same time fitting etc on each van. Don't be shy - £2k may seem like a lot but he'll struggle to find another company prepared to do it for less!
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:08 pm

Dewi in october I did 17 trannie minibuses for a farm labour supplier at about
£300 each and didn't give him any discount cos he would just turn up with one and expect me to do it that day, but he paid up once a week like a good lad.
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:28 pm

:D :D :D :D :D


The advice given above by others is all good.

When asked this question the first thing you say is that with vinyl cutting there is no economy of scale like there is with printing. Ten vans will take ten times as much material and ten times as much labour as doing one van and that therefore there is no saving to be had. That's where you start bargaining.

You then umm and arr a bit and say that as you really want his business, and he has a nice face, you will make an exception and knock a bit off. I would probably go somewhere up to ten percent if I had to, but it depends on how much profit you built in to your original price and you must do your own sums. I know that ten is a bit higher than others are saying but I think you can do it because you get quicker the more you do. If, for example, the first van takes three hours to fit I can almost guarantee that the tenth will be done in two hours - and that's where your savings are.

Beware though that some of these clowns try to get a cheap price by saying that they have nine other vans, when they either don't, or have no intention, of getting the other nine done and you never see more than the first one! A way out of this is to stick with your original price for the first nine and doing the tenth for half price, or even for free. That way they only get the volume price if they come up with the volume work.

Personally I wouldn't worry too much about doing them all together as this can cause it's own problems. I would rather do one a day for ten days and smooth out my workflow than cram all ten vans into two days as whilst putting all your efforts into this one customer you run the risk of neglecting others.

That's about it, but if I can help with any specific point, I will be happy to do so.


Added on edit. I forgot to say, "GO FOR IT!!" I know others have different opinions, but my business has been built on volume and I don't like the one off jobs any more. All the necassary set-up work seems like such a waste for just one vehicle. :D

Good luck
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Thank you to everyone :D This is why I love uksignboards, you turn a panic situation at my side into a logical set of decisions. I'm nice and calm now, honest! :D

I've sort of mixed and matched everyone's advice and come up with 2 different options. Option one, the vans come in one at a time and are paid for pro forma, the final van I would do for £150. Option 2, the vans come in two lots of five, and each lot is paid for on completion with a 5% discount. Both options, a large deposit up front before I start designing or the payment for the first van.

I know what has been said about no discount, it does make alot of sense, but this is the first job of this kind I'll be doing, so I figure the 5% or the £100 off the final van could increase my chances of getting this kind of work. I've had words with a friend of mine who runs a body workshop and he's happy to let me use his industrial unit to do the vans in so I'll be able to guarentee they're done on the day I say I can do them (being under cover and hopefully a little warmer) And all its costing me is £40 and a pint :D

Pete, me being confident as always, once I've got a deposit your help would be much appreciated. I'll give you a bell on the phone once I've sorted it. Be a good laugh, you can watch me get stressed when I bugger up a letter, then calm myself with some garlic bread! :lol1:

Again, thank you everyone for all your help with this. Its been a strange week as I've been asked to quote on jobs that I never thought would ever approach me, and actually got the work. I'd worked on the theory that when I put my prices up, I'd get less work, not more! :o

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:54 pm

Image
Garlic Bread!!!!
Go for it mate.
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:29 pm

Dewi.....

I would say that having somewhere to work under cover is essential for this type of work. You might be alright putting off the local electrician until it stops raining, but for larger clients you must be able to offer a date and stick to it. We have vans here, even small Transits, that cost £25,000, have £3,000 worth of racking and fittings, £500 of our graphics outside and about ten grands worth of spare parts for central heating boilers or whatever rattling away inside. They also come complete with a driver/engineer who is costing something like £200 or more per day. These things are awfully expensive to run on a daily basis and the customer doesn't really want to hear that you haven't done his van today because it had a bit of frost on it. It annoys them.

Nevertheless don't think that because you are small you can't deal with the largest of clients. My first big one was an elevator company who had six hundred vans on a three year change cycle which meant that they needed two hundred vans a year done and I was working out of a single garage attached to my house, but that didn't matter because they never, in twelve years, once visited my premises. As long as vans turned up at their works on the appointed day they were happy and didn't consider a change of supplier because I gave them no reason to want to. Being that small, me and a girl in those days, we couldn't have done them all at once but they had a rolling replacement programme, as most of our clients do, and we might get anything between two and six vans a week which was manageable and still left us time to look after other clients. That's why I said earlier about smoothing the workflow wherever you can as, apart from there being little worse than being as busy as a monkey one day and nothing to do the next, it allows you take on another couple of customers like that from existing resources.

The point of all that blurb was to tell you if that if the "jobs that I never thought would ever approach me" don't, then it is down to you to approach them!
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:09 pm

That was my train of thought John, if I couldn't guarentee a day the van can be done, how will the larger clients take me seriously. My yard works okay in summer, nice weather and you're laughing, but now its hitting the cold weather and its raining on and off, I need something under cover that is accessable. Lucky for me I did my mate a good deal on his sign, he was more than happy to lend a hand, but its since gone to £40 & 2 pints, the costs are spiralling :lol1: :lol1:

From day one I've always had the failing that I didn't advertise enough or I just wouldn't chase after work. I had a discussion with Robert about 6 months ago about why the work was coming in fits and starts. Since then I've made some big changes to the way I work, I advertise alot more than before and I do chase work when I have to. At the moment, the work seems to be quite regular, but with the larger jobs like this one, I still get a little nervous at the prospects of it.

Your example is very encouraging though, 200 vans a year is good going whereever you're based. Again, having the confidence to go for work on that scale without being nervous is difficult for me, but I'm getting there. I'm just glad I can come on here for a confidence booster :D

Steve, I can't stand that bloke. He's from a town nearby mine and I've got this thing about that town, bad vibes whenever I go near. The garlic bread is something Mrs Dewi makes for me, like a pita bread but obviously with garlic. Very calming when you get worked up, which I do everytime I stick vinyl to a van. :oops: I still panic at the thoughts of sticking stuff to a vehicle, especially the larger ones. £10k+ for a vehicle... a tad different from an £80 piece of alucolor :-? :roll:

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 7:03 pm

Dewi
id ask for a percentage of the cost up front.Or something in writing to say that your actually gona receive all ten vans . Ive had this happen to me before where your promised a certain amount of work (the old carrot dangling routine) and your stuggling to see a third of it !!. Sorry if that sounds a bit deppressing but only showing you the pitfalls

regards brian
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:52 pm

Written quote in and fingers crossed now :D

Even if I don't get this particular job, I've learned alot from this. I know how to quote on multiple vehicles now and I've its made me sort out an under cover workshop for doing vehicles in over the winter, and its given me ideas on general invoicing as well! :D

Thank you again to everyone and hopefully I'll have some piccys for the Show Us Your Stuff forum if all goes well :D

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:16 pm

Dewi ...its a good number hope all works out for ya
regards Brian
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:21 pm

good luck from me too Dewi.........though you won't need it :D :wink:

great to see your doing well!! :P :P

Nik
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:34 pm

Thank you :D

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:11 pm

Yep good luck Dewi fingers crossed

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