When you come to Mueller Custom Cut with a new design for a product, we want to know everything about it.
The more we know about the application, the better we can combine our supply of materials and range of capabilities to suit your company’s needs.
Here’s how Mueller proposes quotes to customers to ensure the highest quality of manufacturing and production services.
What Information Does Mueller Need to Start a Quote?
A customer’s first request for a quote is typically a drawing that explains what the part needs to be. With that amount of information, Mueller is limited on our ability to explore alternative material suggestions, different methods of supply, and Value-Added & Value Engineering (VAVE) opportunities.
This is when we ask you, the customer, to let us be a good listener.
“Mueller does not want to know just what the part needs to be,” said Michael Bryant, Sales Manager. “We want to know what the part needs to do.”
We ask questions about the application of your product. That allows us to come up with alternative solutions in a good-better-best approach that still achieves your goal. This process helps ensure you take advantage of any economical benefits we may be able to offer.
Let’s say you bring us a print from engineering that details the size, width, length, thickness, type of material, and tolerance requirements for your product. However, it doesn’t say whether the part is being used for a gasket, cover, insulation, thermal, or something else. There’s a chance the drawing could be over-designed and beyond the scope of what the product needs to do.
Mueller wants to learn more about your product because we know we can add value to it. We can quote you a price based on your design, but we’d like to be able to offer you alternatives that would also achieve what you want the product to do in an application.
What Are the Steps Mueller Takes to Come Up With a Quote?
When we base a quote off of a drawing, we work with our suppliers to make sure we have the raw materials that meet the design. We want to ensure we’re able to supply that material at the requested tolerances and quantities.
Mueller also investigates whether the minimum order requirements will work with our supply chain. For example, you want to buy 1,000 parts, but the raw material we have to buy yields 10,000 parts. Part of this process is making sure we can get the best use out of the material we purchase to make your part, as well as satisfy your needs.
Knowing what the product needs to do helps us figure out whether the material you have in mind is the best choice. Let’s say the material you requested is tolerant up to 500°. But you only need it to be tolerant up to 300°. We can probably find a different material that will give you more value.
“If we’re given application details, we can also quote alternatives to ensure we’re meeting expectations without being overkill and being able to save costs,” Bryant said.
When Mueller has enough information to quote multiple options, we can work with you to add economics to your design. With our great sourcing network, we may be able to save you from paying a higher price for something you don’t need for the product to perform the same function.
What Happens if the Customer Can’t Afford Mueller’s Quote?
If our quote is not in your budget, we’ll work with you to try to find a solution.
Mueller is always willing to talk about alternatives. Let’s say you plan to use 100,000 parts a year, and you want to buy 2,000 parts a week. We may be able to work with you on the price if you can make a monthly purchase instead of weekly.
After we send your quote, we follow up to see if the estimate works for you and you’re ready to place your order. If that’s not the case, we start looking to develop alternatives—whether it’s a different quantity, part size, or something else that’s adjustable.
“We do strive to be a low-cost provider to our customers. But just giving the cheapest price is not our goal all the time. It’s to make sure that all the value’s tied together for them,” said Bryant.
Mueller finds that value in relationships with our suppliers. We know we can count on them when it comes to quality and delivery. They’re available to give us support when VAVE opportunities arise. Our partners can also build inventory solutions for particular situations.
“We are not always the low bidder on opportunities, but we see value in more than just part price,” Bryant said.
How Mueller Proposes Quotes for Customers
Now you know what’s behind Mueller’s quotes and how we investigate your design to come up with pricing.
When our team learns more about your product’s application, we can offer a quote on your drawing as well as estimates on alternative options. With this good-better-best approach, we can add value and still meet your requirements.
Let’s talk about your product and what you want it to do. Contact Mueller today!