Rep: To bid or not to bid

To bid or not to bid – that is the question we ask with every invitation to bid or quote request.  And it’s a very good question because if we bid on projects that aren’t in our realm, we’ll waste everyone’s time.

First and foremost:
If you aren’t sure about the project send it in! We can usually tell very quickly if it’s in our realm.  No harm in just sending the project info / ITB over to us.

With that in mind, this article will help explain what we choose to bid on and why.

One of the primary questions with any project is the size. 

If the project is under 400 sq feet it’s usually not something we want to bid on.  The profit margin just isn’t where we would like.  On the other hand, if we’re sending the bid to a glass shop, we will bid because we don’t have to factor in the cost of installation.

The other primary factor is location.

Yes, we’re centered nicely in the middle of the United States but, that doesn’t mean all locations are equal.  If we are looking at a project in Washington or Oregon for example, the costs are higher so we have to carefully consider what we will quote on that still allows profit.  

There are also locations that aren’t as easy to work with because their local building codes, for example Dade & Broward Counties in Florida have just too much red tape.

We also consider the materials called for in the specs.

We don’t work with fiberglass so any unit skylights calling for domes or fiberglass are just not something we will build.  In fact, any preformed units that have plastic,  acrylic or polycarbonate domes are not in our area of expertise.  We don’t mass produce those types of units so we can’t compete.  This also includes fiberglass wall and roof panels (skylights).

And when it comes to greenhouses, while we have a wonderful greenhouse product, we don’t build greenhouses that call for galvanized steel in the construction.

Additionally, when we see a curtain wall included with skylights, it’s generally not something we will bid because the company with the curtain wall generally will provide the skylights as well. The specs aren’t broken up to allow two different companies to provide the services.

Direct buy products.

Obviously we don’t want to be selling directly to companies like Lowe’s or Walmart. We’re not in a position to mass produce items and we prefer to work on custom projects.

Finally, there are some projects that are just not us.   Of course we would like to bid everything that comes to us, it’s just not practical in every case.  While difficult to define, there are companies that may be much better suited for some projects than Crystal Structures.

When in doubt – send it in!
Best of luck!