Hide or Show Models on Quotes - Integrator Statistics

By: Brian Karas, Published on Apr 13, 2017

Customers like to know what they are buying, but they might use an integrator's detailed quote to shop the system designed. This is a challenge faced by integrators everywhere, and there are strong opinions on the best approach.

New survey results with 160 integrator responses showed them to be sharply divided. In this report, we break down the statistics, plus examining the main reasons for and against with detailed integrator commentary.

********* **** ** **** what **** *** ******, but **** ***** *** an **********'* ******** ***** to **** *** ****** designed. **** ** * challenge ***** ** *********** everywhere, *** ***** *** strong ******** ** *** best ********.

*** ****** ******* **** 160 ********** ********* ****** them ** ** ******* divided. ** **** ******, we ***** **** *** statistics, **** ********* *** main ******* *** *** against **** ******** ********** commentary.

[***************]

Divided ***********

****** **** ** *** responses **** **** **** specific ***** ** **** numbers ** ******, *** another **% **** **** list ******** ***** ******* in ******** *****.

******* *** **** ******** are ******** *****.

Yes - *** ******** ********* / ************

**** *********** **** **** provided ******** ****** ** a ****** ** ******** integrity, *** **** ********* should ** ***** **** information ** ***** **** to **** ** ******** decision:

  • "********** - ** ******* in **** ************ ** the ******** *** *** everything **'** ******* *** compare ** ******* ** what ****'** ************* **** buying. ** *** **'** often ***** ****** ** displace ******* ******."
  • "** ** ********* **** specific **** ******* ** we **** ** ** as ******* **** *** customer ** ********. **** know ******* **** ****'** getting **** **** ****** our ***** ** ******* to *** ***** ******* who ***** * *** quantity ** "** *******" on ***** ******."
  • "** ** **** **** of *** *********. * want ******* *** ************ for *** *********. **** should ** ******* ** compare. ** **** *** going ** **** ** up **** * *** bucks ** * ******, they *** ****** *** a ******** ** **** anyway. **** ****** **** understand **** ****** **** can **** ********** *******."
  • "***, ** ****** ** be ******* *** ** know *** ******* ****** the ***** ******* *** get ****** *******. ** what ** **** **** what *** *** ** for, ** **** **** to *** ** ********** fine, *** ****.. *** when ** ****** **** or **** **** ****** you *** ** ***** deny ************** *** *** cameras... **** **** **** will *** **** *** because *** ******* **** products (********* *** **!)"
  • "** ******* ***** & models, ******* ***** (** PoE *.*** *-*** *********, etc.) *** ********* ** the **** ** ***** or *** ** *** include ****** **** *******. Despite *** ******* ****** customers "******** *** *****" there ** ** ********* factor **** ***** **** play, *** ** ***** by *** *******."
  • "***. ** **** ** be *********** ******* **'* important *** ** ** have *** ******** ********** what **** *** *******. And ** ***** ** differentiate ********* **** ***** companies. ******* ** *** not ******* '**** ****'* specials' ** **'* ****** for ** ** ******** that ***********."
  • "***, ** ****** ******* model, *** ************, **** in ***** ***** **** you **** ***** *** single ***** *** ***** solution."
  • "***. ******* ** ******* we *** *** *** customers ** ***** *** have ******* ** **** or ****, ** *** not *****-********. *******, ** we **** **** ** are ******* **** * shady ******** ** **** change **** *******."
  • "*** * **** *** Mfg *** **** #. I **** ** ******* a ******** ********, ** must ** ***********. * am *** **** ** fool *** ******. * believe ** ** ********* the ****** ** **** of *** ***** *******. An ******** ****** ** less ******* ** *** end ** *** *******. The *** ******* **** has **** *********** *** talked ***** ****** *** sale *** ************."

Yes - **** *****

********* ******* ****** *** customer ** ****** ********** the ********, *** *********** compare ** ** ***** alternatives. *********** *** **** more ** * "***** selling" ******** **** **** listing *******, *** ********** why **** ***** ******** components ****** **** ***** expertise.

  • "** **, ** ****** our ******* ** **** exactly **** ** *** proposing ** **** **** want ** **** ** up *** ** ***** own ********."
  • "**** ** *** ****. We ****** *** *********** that *** ******* *** commoditized *** **** ** issue ******* *** ******** know **** ***** ** more ** *** ******** then **** *** ********."
  • "** ** **** * specific **** ****** ** well ** * *********** of *** ****. ***** were ***** **** ** first *** ******* **** we ****'*, *** * like ** **** * point **** ** *** more *********** **** **** security ********* ** *** design, *******, *** ************ procedures ** *** ********* so **** ***** **** the *********. ***** ** the ****** ** ***** designs **** **** "********" though, **** *** *** be * ******** ** continue ** *******."
  • "***, **** ********* **** to **** ** *** spec ****** *** **** what **** *** *******. And **** ** **** fulfill ********* ************."
  • "****** **** ******** ** clients **** ******* **** we *** ********."
  • "***, *** ****** *** detailed. ** **** ** show *** ********* **** they *** ******* ** there *** **** ** any ****** **** **** up ** ******** ** installs. ****, ** ***** is ******* ******* **** is ************* ******* **** our *****, *** *** other ******* **** *** have ******* ** ****, we *** ******* ****** the ******** ** *** those ******* ***** **** shows *** *** ****** the ***** ******* *** missed ** *** **** out."
  • "** ******* *** ** our ********* ** **** the ***** *** ********** of * ******. ****, for ********* ****** ** apples ** *** ******* the ****** **** **** better *******/********/******* *** ** is **** ** ******* it ** *** **** have *** **** **** - ******** ****** - $100,000"
  • "***. ** ***** ******** to ********** *** ******'* benefits, *** ***** *** project ******* *** *********** to ********** **** *** been ********. * **** some ****** *** ******** about *** *** **** shopping ** *** ********. I ***'* **** *** you'd ***** ***** ****. If **** ** **** to ***, *** **** to ****** ******* **** on **** ***** ** walk ****. ** ******** that **** ***** ** being *** *** ******** BEFORE *** **** * contract."
  • "***, ** ****** **** the ******** * ******** list **** *** **** numbers. ** ******* **** with ********* ******** *** best ******** *** ***** needs, ** ** **** like **** ** ******* understand **** ** **** they *** ******."
  • "*** *** * **** sure * **** *** client **** ******* *** not *** **** **** if **** **** *** same (*** *****).* **** explain ****** **** ******* on *** ** **** market *******."

Yes *** **** ********** ********

******* ***** ******, ** products **** * ********** sales *******, ***** *********** to **** ******* **** less ******* *** *** customer ******* *** ******** out ** ******* ** prices ******:

  • "** ******* ** *** higher *** ****** ***** we *** ** ******** dealer. *** ***** *** quotes ** ******* **** specify ******* *****."
  • "***. ** ** *** an ***** *** **** and ******** ****."
  • "** *** ************ "******", which ** * ***** OEM *** **** ***** part *******, ** **** are ********* **** **** us ** **** ******** in *******."
  • "***, ** ******* ****** our *** ******* *** subsequently **** *** *** model *******, ** * have ** ******* ******* them ** ******. ****** we *** *** *** them ** ******* ****** would *** ****, ***, or ******** ** ****** for * **** ***** price."

No - ****** ********

******* **** ********* ******** quotes ****** ** ** other *********** *** *** primary ****** *********** **** for *** ******* ********* on *********.

  • "**. ****** **** **** take *** ***** *** go *** ***** **** on ******/****."
  • "**, ** ** *** want *** ******** ** shop ****** ***** *******."
  • "** - ** ******* shopping. **** ****** ********* products *** ** ******* online ******* ************ *******."
  • "******* ** ***'* ******* part ******* **** ********* as *** ****** *** easily ******* ***** ** want ** **** **** markup ** *** ********."
  • "** ***'* **** ***** numbers ** **** *******, but ** ** ********* the ***** *** **** description ** *** *******. A ***** ****** ****** be **** ** ****** out ** **** *** description ** **** ****** to."
  • "** * ** *** list ******** ***** *******. Why? **** * **** publish *** ****** ** the **** ** ****** can ****** **** *** replicate? ******* ******** **** numbers ** **** ** invitation *** ****** ** shop **** ***** ***/** complain **** **** *** buy *** ****** ******* from **** ******* *** site."
  • "**. ** *** * lot ** ****** **** into ********* *** ***'* want ** ** **** into * ******** ****."

No - ******* ***********

******* ************ **** ******** to ******* **** *********** in **** * ******* was *********** ** ************ time, ** ** **** a ***** ***** ** came *** *** * reason *** ******* ** concerns **** *****-********.

  • "**, ******* ****** (****, stock ***) ****** ** a ***** **** **** its ****** ** ****** to * ********* *******, too **** *********** **** to *** ***** ******* etc ** ********* *** good ** **** ** the ******** ** *** quoting *****."
  • "** ** **** *** product ** *** ********* or ****-******* ** **** of *******."
  • "** ** ********* **** latest *** ********."
  • "** ******* **** ****** so ******* ** **** as *** **** **** the ******** ***** **** "shop ******" ** **** have **** ***********."
  • "**, ****** ****** **********, we **** ****** *** best ****** *** *** camera ** *** **** of *******"
  • "*** *******. * ***'* want ** **** ****** a **** ****** ** how ** ****** * system *** **** ***** part ******* *** ****** products **** ****** **** quote **** ** ****** PO ****...**** ******** **** a **** ** **** to *** ********."

Situation *********

* ***** ** *********** responded **** **** **** provide ******* ** ******** instances. **** ***** ** for ******** ********* **. proposals ** *** *********, or ******* ** ******** customer ************ ** **** detailed ******.

  • "**** ********* ******* ******** and ** ****** **** them. **** ********* *** ok **** ** ******* project ****."
  • "******* ** *** *********. If **'* * ******* customer, **'** **** *** whatever **** *** ***: part #, **** *******, etc. ** **'* * random **** **** ******* to **** *** ***** against *** ***** ***** slammer, **'** ******* ** much *********** ** ********, sometimes ** *** ***** of ********** ******* **** the ******** ******* ****** than **** ********* *** sheets."
  • "******* ** *** ******** and ********. **** ** list ************ *** ***** and **** ** **** general ***** ** ** know **** **** *** just ******** *****."
  • "********* ** *** ********. If **** ***'* ******* part *******, ** **** to **** ******* ************ that *** ******** *** understand."
  • "******* - ********** ********, yes. ********** ******** - 50/50. ** **** ***** list *** ***** ** we *** ***** * higher *** ****** ** the ******** ** ********* more **** * *** vs * ***. ** gives ** *** *********** to **** ******* *** usefulness **** *** **** of *** ******. ** we *** ******* ***** end ******* ***** *** race ** *** ****** is *** *****, ** don't ******* *****. ****** because ** *** ******* something ******* ** ** is ********* **** ** win."
  • "********* ** ***** **** in ***** ** ******** customer ********. *** ******** customers *** ***'* **** us, ** **** ******** the *****."
  • "** **'* * ****** bid ******* ** ** not *** **** *******. Make **** **** *** it. ** **'* * sold *** **** ** provide **** *******."
  • "****** ** ********. **** customers **** ** *** this. ****** ***'*. ** often ** ** *********** situations ** *********** **** we *** ***** ******* products."
  • "*** *******, ****** ***** is * ******** ****** to. ***** ******* ***** include *********** **** **** the ************ ** *** design/problem ******* ******* ** if *** ******** **** is * ****** *** to ***** *** ******* at ****."

Summary ********

**** ** *** *********** in ******** ****** **. not **** **** ** how *********** ******** ***** market. ***** ********* *** business ***** ** *** value ***** ******* ******** often ***** ** ******* full **************, **** *** mindset **** ** ******** customer **** **** *** a ****** ******* ************, and ***** **** ** price ***** **** *** worth ** *******. *********** selling ***** ** ***-**** had **** ****** ** reduce ******** ******* **** customers ***** *** ** try *** **** ** even ****** ***** *********, leaving **** **** ** the ******** ** *** hopes ** ****** ** more ********* *** **** to **** *** *********** prices.

Comments (9)

The comment that asked the question "does a chef publish his recipe" is a good analogy in an indirect way. This would be from higher end, considered quality restaurants. But the great majority of dining is at cheap and fast food places. There's money to be made at both. The question is, do you want to a short order cook business, or a Chef busines?

I think a more accurate analogy from the end user's perspective is "Does the menu list the main components of the dish? Would you purchase a "chef's special" pizza without knowing what's on it? We don't need to know the chef's recipe nor how it's made, but we want to know the major components of the product we're purchasing.

As an end user, I will not accept any quote that doesn't list the major components of the product/system I'm purchasing by line item, and with totals broken out by parts, labor, shipping/freight, and tax.

Ditto. If this is too much to ask of you there are plenty of other good, reputable companies that are more than happy to do it.

I think a more accurate analogy from the end user's perspective is "Does the menu list the main components of the dish? .....We don't need to know the chef's recipe nor how it's made, but we want to know the major components of the product we're purchasing.

...

Hence, why I said not publishing the recipe, and did not say anything about not publishing the ingredients.

Well, you can take comparisons down to the granular level, but the question was whether to provide models on quotes, and the bottom line is that I do require it as an end user.

I treat people the way I want to be treated. If I'm buying something like a car, a computer, a new television, a refrigerator, etc., I want to know the details, such as the make, model, performance reviews, etc. I want the best price too, but don't want to deal with a "questionable" vendor. I want to compare quotes and, yes, "shop" for the best deal.

So, what is it about the surveillance industry that makes some integrators think their clients shouldn't know what they're getting until they are locked into an agreement? If a client wants to use my quote, with all the makes and model numbers, to either DIY or leverage a price with another company, that's fine. I'm not trying to win a bid based solely on the parts.

I'm always curious when the word bid is used, how often it is really a bid. I have been asked to "bid" on a sound system against someone else after I had already given a recommended proposal based on what the needs were. Since they said bid, I asked for the design to bid on. The only thing they gave me was a parts list. With that part list, I could assume a horrible design that wouldn't make the system any easier to use and it wouldn't make it sound any better. The goal of the renovation was to make the system easier to use. I ended up telling the client that I wouldn't provide a quote on an equipment list. After that I still ran sound for certain events and a few years later, I renovated the sound system. However, there was great compromise with this, as they wanted to scale back from my original design to fit a smaller budget. There was a compromise to ease of use, but due to waiting, newer products were available that fit the design fairly well.

A bid usually implies a design. The design is typically paid for by the client to a consultant that doesn't sell anything. That design is then bid on. Many clients don't realize this and will simply ask for a bid when they are really looking for 2-3 different proposals that often can't be compared with each other even if product numbers are listed. So in the end, the client ends up getting free design work without the use of a consultant. Often we are doing design/build and the only way the built-in design gets paid for is when you get the job. The client also must determine from those proposals what system is the best based hopefully on education of some sort. However, this choice often times is simply based on price alone. This is why there is so much work in fixing other companies messes and making a poor install into a proper one or a functional one.

I try to educate the client as much as possible into what they are getting with a system as well as what they may not be getting. An example we all know is the typical 4K camera isn't going to have that 4K quality at night, especially with poor lighting. Providing proper education and actually helping the client goes a long way.

surely the client would be better served with giving him the features of a particular camera and why the camera has been selected.in this instance the more professional integrator should get job. by features I mean IR or dark fighter, lens choice,f no etc.etc. AND WHY YOU PROPOSE THE CAMERA AND RECORDING DEVISE.

Manfred, you make a good point and simply listing the features may be ample for some or most end users. In my case, though, I do compare the differences in the SAME features across models. For example, some cameras simply have better smart CODEC than others, and some are better than others in specific environments. Some have better low light capabilities than others, and so on.

And, if you tell me that a camera has WDR, I'll want to know whether it is digital WDR or true WDR.

I do read the cut sheets of cameras that are proposed to me and read the IPVM analyses of the same cameras. I couldn't do that without the model numbers. Granted, not everybody looks at that level of detail, but we should have the option.

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