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Winning the bid

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You can’t work on improving customer communication and efficiencies if you don’t get the customer’s business in the first place. Jeff Viehmeyer, owner of Alameda Canvas & Coverings, pays particular attention to formatting quotes to secure jobs from government agencies, shipping companies and cruise lines.

“They want to see something that’s precise and easy to understand,” he says. “In these cases, the person looking at the bid is a compliance officer or administrative or procurement person who just wants to get the job lined up and off their desk as fast as possible.”

Viehmeyer makes sure to indicate every separate aspect of the job with specifications and materials, exactly matching the requester’s notes so that when the compliance people look at it, they can easily track from the request to the bid.

“I know of one job in particular in which about half the quotes were knocked out because the person reading them couldn’t understand what was being quoted back,” Viehmeyer says. “So I try to make the quote the easiest to understand, in compliance with reference numbers indicated in the request, and make sure it goes to the right person.”

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance writer and associate editor of InTents, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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