Having processed hundreds of quotes for schools, we are more and more certain that some schools are wasting their time trying to get 3 quotes. In a lot of cases, these schools are not getting any value from the second and third quote. The purpose of this article and the reason for the heading is to grab your attention and make you rethink why you are getting 3 quotes in the first place. We strongly believe in getting 3 quotes.
Let’s start with the ‘why’. Why do schools need to get 3 quotes? In most cases, it is a well-accepted principle that if you are spending more than a certain amount, you should have a policy in place. This policy is in place mostly to ensure schools are getting the best value for their money.
As great as this sounds, a major problem arises when this policy just becomes part of the procedure. The other 2 quotes hardly get looked at and then get filed just so you can tick the ‘we are compliant’ box.
Understanding the ‘why’ is key
Should schools get 3 quotes? YES! But understanding why is the key. Here are three main benefits of requesting 3 quotes.
1) You keep suppliers on their toes
Often, suppliers will start low and then gradually start raising their prices once you are a long term customer. You can easily avoid this from happening. By simply requesting 3 quotes, you will be keeping your supplier on their toes by comparing their prices to other companies offering the same product/service. Requesting 3 quotes ensures you have a benchmark on an expected price.
2) You have the power to negotiate
For every supplier you have, there are at least 3 others desperate for your business. Use this. The more you negotiate, the more value you will get for your rand. If you have a preferred supplier, by getting a further 2 quotes you will find out what their competitors are charging. Use this information as a bargaining chip to reduce the amount you pay your preferred supplier or use it to increase the value you get from them.
3) Stay on top of new trends
By getting 3 quotes, you are ensuring you are staying open to new trends. By engaging and requesting quotes from multiple suppliers you are allowing other companies to share new solutions or services that you have not thought about.
It’s so easy to get stuck in our old ways that we can lose out on having a competitive price for the amount we pay for products/services. By getting 3 quotes, you are ensuring you are on top of the latest trends and are getting the best value and the best price.
Things to look out for when requesting 3 quotes
- Price is not everything. It is important to read reviews from other schools about the company (if possible) to determine how reputable they are. You could ask the company to send you testimonials or visit www.schooladvisor.co.za to read what other schools say about them
- We are noticing that more and more schools are willing to pay a premium price to ensure they are receiving the best service possible. Fly-by-night companies exist because schools don’t do background checks.
- Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. If you really like a supplier but they are too expensive, simply ask them to match the other quotes you received.
- See what other value they can offer you. Sometimes a supplier can’t drop the price but can offer you extra value. Think guarantees, service level agreements, etc.
- Ask for samples, test periods, or something that will allow you to put the product/service to the test. For example, you could test a printer for a week or receive a set of textbooks to give to your staff.
- Visit schools the company has done work at. Top-rated companies will usually gladly set up the meeting for you, as they are proud of their work.
SchoolAdvisor, as a company, is built on the principle of schools getting 3 quotes. We highly recommend schools to get 3 quotes for any product or service they need. However, if getting 3 quotes is just going to be part of the process, then you are wasting your time.
There are almost always 3 amazing suppliers out there. Don’t settle for anything less than great. So, yes. Get 3 quotes. But, make sure you put in the effort so that you get the best value for your money.
Hit the button below to request a quote for anything your school needs from SchoolAdvisor. Let us know what you need and we will match you to 3 top rated suppliers.