Considerations when Choosing a Canopy Supplier
Once you’re ready to take the step of making your canopy purchase, you’ll need to choose the correct supplier for your needs. Of course, value is important, but you must consider more than just cost to ensure you get a good deal. In order to be covered for all of your needs throughout the project, choose a school canopy supplier who has considered every relevant aspect of service for customer satisfaction.
Meet with Various Suppliers
Arrange to meet up with various suppliers to get a feel for their business and the way they work. Developing a positive working relationship is important; the supplier should have a genuine interest in the project and be understanding of your requirements. The passion for helping clients such as schools and having a positive effect on children’s education should be clear from a good supplier of education canopies. Before you meet up, develop a detailed list of what it is you require and all of the questions you would like answering in order to come to a decision. Record details of the conversation so you know what the supplier will provide (which should also be confirmed in writing at a later stage).
Obtain a Set of Quotes
When making your enquiries and meeting with suppliers, the cost of the product is one of the first things you will look at. Make sure you record this crucial step by getting a written quote from the supplier, so that there is no risk of any confusion or dispute later. The quote is a fixed price, unlike an estimate, so it is important that this is a finalised figure agreed on by both parties. That price will be conclusive unless you make any amendments to the brief later that include more work than first agreed. The quote should also include a breakdown of the various costs it comprises, such as materials, all the work which will be carried out and whether VAT is included. It should also advise how long the work will take.
Get a Quality Guarantee
Choosing a supplier should be about more than just finding the best price; there are many other deciding factors which are of equal importance. Finding a supplier with a quality guarantee, for example, ensures that the canopy will be durable and only the best materials will be used. There should be a specified minimum duration of the canopy’s lifetime which helps you to gauge its worth against your agreed budget. This also means that if there does happen to be any performance issues, you will be financially covered by the guarantee.
Do They Do Free Surveys?
You should be offered a free survey from your chosen canopy supplier at the first stage, with no obligation to buy. The survey will allow the supplier to gauge the suitability of your building for the installation, assess how best to provide you with a solution, and ensure that they supply the best canopy types for your project.
Do They Offer Site-Specific Calculations?
A reputable supplier should ensure that your canopy will be fit for purpose by carrying out site-specific calculations as part of standard procedure. This will give you an indication of the high standards they adhere to in engineering their product, rather than putting most emphasis on a quick turnaround. Care should be taken to ensure that your canopy will be designed specifically for your project’s needs and tailored to your building faultlessly. Applying the principles of engineering gives you protection against anything going wrong further down the line.
Look at Past Work
A good canopy company should list case studies of happy clients on their site. They will give you an idea of the solutions they have created for other schools and what your canopy design will look like. If you wish to get a first-hand account of the previous clients’ experiences for further peace of mind, you could even contact the schools listed in the case studies for insight into the process and how the canopy has supported their curriculum since installation. The supplier should be willing to provide contact details of past clients, so that you can get extra peace of mind from having a conversation and getting a spoken reference (either over the phone or in person), rather than relying solely on written testimonials.
Now you are ready to begin choosing the supplier who will help you complete your project. Here are the steps you should follow to help you decide on a supplier:
- Meet with a range of suppliers to decide on the best one to work with
- Get written quotes from all the companies you contact
- Cover yourself and get the best product with a quality guarantee
- Make sure your supplier offers a free survey, with no obligation to buy
- Get references from past clients