Apples to apples and apples to oranges. Are you getting a fair and accurate quote? All too often we see a fellow lubricants supplier inaccurately or unfairly cross reference products for a quote, but what should a proper quote consist of?
This is all very dependent upon the end user's goals and needs. The truly proper way to provide an accurate and fair quote would be to review a fleet list of all the end user's equipment (year, make, model, engine OEM, transmission OEM, etc). The lubricants advisor can review the list with OEM specialists and find the individual specifications that each product line must meet. This is especially important if pieces of equipment are still under warranty. Products that are approved for necessary specifications can be added line by line for each component of the equipment and consolidated where able. This is the ideal process for creating a lubricant offering however, in many instances, company fleet lists may be considered confidential and maintenance managers are not permitted to share the information with vendors. In this scenario, the lubricants supplier must assume that all of the products you are currently using are accurate and approved for your equipment, and they will cross reference the products over to the brands that they carry.
Most lubricants suppliers are aligned with one or two major brands (Shell, Chevron, Citgo, ConocoPhillips, Mobil, etc) and a "house brand", which would be a private brand they label as their own or blend themselves in-house. This is where we tend to see competing suppliers take advantage of the end user. Where the end user may be using a branded product, a supplier will quote a house brand product to replace it, which is usually significantly less in price than a branded product. Now to the uninformed end user, it appears their existing supplier has been taking advantage of them.
There are questions that both the supplier and end user can consider asking to ensure the most accurate quote is given.
Why did you choose these products to quote? What is your house brand product and does it maintain any OEM approvals? Do your products meet the OEM specifications that my equipment requires? Are the products you've offered an exact cross from my current products to the best of your abilities? Can you provide technical data sheets (TDS) for both my existing products and your product offering to showcase the differences and similarities?
Could you share an up-to-date fleet list that I can use to create my product offering? Is there a reason you prefer branded products over house brand (or visa-versa)? Are any of your machines currently under warranty? What are the operating conditions for the machinery that may warrant the extra protection of a particular branded product or are you paying for protection that your operating conditions may not warrant? Do you have any performance goals you are looking to obtain (extended oil drains etc)?
Your lubricants supplier should ALWAYS be asking these questions. If they are not, are they an asset to your business? A lubricants provider should be a true partner to the end user, looking out for the best interest of their goals, needs, operating costs, and machinery.
To learn more about our quoting process, visit our contact page to get in touch with a RILCO sales representative.