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Discussion Starter #1
Was wondering how many other small companies are having trouble bidding jobs with the way material prices are jumping so erratically. The steel roofing panels I generally use have climbed 5 different times this yearfor a total of over a 70% increase. Some of my customers waited a couple of months to commit and were understandably upset when I informed them the material cost estimate was no longer valid and would have to relist. I've lost a few customers because they were making no more money than they were six months ago but my costs (fuel, labor, Materials) steadily rose.
 

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Vendor
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Tell them to wait for 6 months to a year and the cost will be in line with what you quoted. And be sure to have the expiration date on your bid.
 

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Yeah man you always need a expiration date on your bid. Depending on the materials involved that date might even be a week from the posted date. Just from my expereince that isnt just as of recent.
 

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My proposals are only good for 30 days. I get all material price updates via E-mail from my supplier. This last summer I was getting updates for steel and shingled roofing products every 2 weeks....I adjusted my proposals accordingly so that they were only good for 14 days on steel and shingles. When it's explained to them customers usually understand. If they don't...I probably don't want them anyways.
 

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Sean
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My proposals are only good for 10 days, period.
You have a few options that you might want to look into. Add into your proposals a material escalation clause. The other is to have your supplier provide a locked in quote for X days & use that date on your proposal minus a day or two (so that you can order the supplies, etc...). If you have a really good supplier, he can provide you with a price sheet of your most common items used & inform you that prices for X,Y & Z are going up on said date & what the new prices might be.
 

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I agree, you should be putting expirations on those. Make sure it is in your contract or preliminary agreement as well so you don't get burned on a job.
 
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