5 Steps to Speed Up the RFQ Process to Get Your Products Sooner

There are a lot of variables that go into creating a quote for your custom project. In this post we are breaking down some of the most important considerations for your next project to help you understand all the important details we’ll need in order to deliver the best possible product to you.

We take great pride in our ability to deliver custom solutions, quickly, and for a great investment. The more alignment we gain with you, the more satisfied you’ll be! 

Project lead time is one of the biggest questions we are asked, especially in today’s environment. In an effort to deliver your project as soon as possible, we framed up five key questions that you can answer for us in order to get you an accurate quote sooner rather than later.

Before we dive in, we want to ask which category you fall into: 

  1. Yes, I have experience with t-slot products.
  2. No, I do not have experience with t-slot products. 


If you do have experience with t-slot products, you may skip down to the section below, Questions to answer for your fast & accurate quote.

If you do not, it’s best not to overwhelm yourself with all of the various options regarding connection types, profiles, hardware, etc. 

The minutia can be overwhelming, so let’s keep it simple when submitting an RFQ for the first time. Feel free to scan the information below but do not worry if you’re unsure of what the question is asking. 

Please just indicate in the form fill, email, or while on the phone with a Faztek representative that this is your first foray into t-slot and you’re going to need some education along the way to delivering an RFQ to you. We are happy to coach you through the process. 


Questions to answer for your fast & accurate quote

   1. Product selection – what product line of ours are you here for? 

          a. Data centers walls, panels, and doors
          b. Machine guarding
          c. DIY projects
          d. General industrial solutions such as carts, tables, and machine stands
          e. Work stations

Please share a picture if you have one!
A drawing, whether it’s a CAD drawing or a simple sketch, is very helpful.

    2.  Project context details:
This may seem like an odd question but here’s an example of a request we often receive and the questions we have to determine the final specs for the customer:
Customer will say they “want a door.” In order to deliver exactly what they need, we would need to know: 

  • Where this door is going
  • What type of door is it (such as a human sized door or machine sized, so as to accommodate a forklift, as an example.) 
  • What size does it need to be?
    Dimensions are probably the most critical. Length, width and height, along with any critical dimensions relevant to your project depending on the design’s complexity.
  • What will your project solution be used for? 
  • What sort of work environment will your project be in / where will it go? 
  • About how big should your project solution be? 
  • Do you have specific material requirements or preferences?
  • Will this be mounted or secured to something else?

   3. Materials and strength profiles requirements and preferences:
We create a variety of different projects for a lot of different use-cases. Regardless of what you’re requesting a quote for, strength profiles are important to consider to ensure your project isn’t over or under engineered.


  • In regards to weight load, this will be pertinent to the designer who will determine what extrusion profile will best serve the project’s needs. For instance, if you intend to build a workbench, we need to know if anything over 100 pounds will be applied to the table surface, or will your workbench hold over 1000 pounds? This detail alone will allow us to determine the profile and general structure of the design. Over engineer it and you’ll pay more than you need to. Under engineer it and the design won’t support your expectations!
  • Paneling is relevant for a few reasons. Is the end user sourcing it themselves or will Faztek need to provide it? Faztek typically stocks 1/4″ black ABS and 1/4″ clear poly, along with thinner material for smaller extrusion profiles. Again, don’t overthink it. Decide if you want paneling and where it should be located on the design.
  • We currently offer 4 different profiles series consisting of different weights and profile designs; 15, 10, 40, and Faz-Tube. Each series offering different weight deflections, price points, and expandability. 15 series being the most common and coming in 1.5” increments, 10 series is 1” increments, 40 series is 40 mm increments and Faz-Tube strictly in 1”x1” hollow profile, and assembled using a boltless fastening system.


   4. Are you going to assemble the project yourself or do you want us to do it for you?
You have two options when it comes to the assembly of your project. If you choose to assemble it yourself, know that all of our projects are customized so we do not provide a specific set of directions for assembling your project. If this is your first time dealing with t-slot, let’s discuss the feasibility of doing this yourself.

We have a decision guide to help you determine if you’re equipped to assemble your project yourself of not: Faztek As Your Assembly Partner

   5. How do you want your project delivered to you? Shipping details:
Another important point, especially for the DIY crowd, is shipping. Size and weight will determine whether the project can get to you using standard ground shipping, or if it will require less-than-truckload (LTL) truck freight coordination. A thought to keep in mind, if you are determined to keep shipping at standard ground only; keep the dimensions below 96″.


Is Faztek the right partner for your next project? 

By providing us with some of the answers to the questions above we will be able to provide you with a fast, accurate quote to help you determine if we’re the right partner for your next project. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Faztek advantage, read this article: Is Faztek the right partner for your project?

The Benefits Of Using Faztek As Your Assembly Partner

Faztek provides the rare experience of getting an entirely customized solution that is more cost-effective and is produced faster than almost any other option on the market. 

This is achieved by cutting out the retail distributor middleman. This means you work directly with the same team from initial concept design, through engineering, all the way through production and delivery.

Customized from the OEM means we ship faster and in a more cost-effective way: 

  • Built to your exact specifications, no retrofitting is required
  • No unnecessary shipping costs or retail markup 
  • No waiting on overseas shipping, minimized impact from supply chain issues
  • More knowledgeable service & support provided throughout the entire process
  • Assembly and installation opportunities are available 

When you order a product from Faztek, you have two options:

  1. You can assemble your system yourself after you receive our kit
  2. You can have Faztek assemble it for you

Because all of our solutions are customized, though, we cannot create detailed instructions for each and every new product we create. This is where our strategic assembly conversations come in. 


How To Determine If You Should Hire Faztek’s Team For Assembly

All products do feature a bill of materials, including a tag drawing, which is a high-level overview of the solution you’ve created with Faztek. This is great at a glance, but doesn’t feature the up close details you may need to assemble everything on your own. 

Your BOM will also feature an assembly and installation estimated amount of time for a Faztek representative to get your system setup. Depending on your familiarity with the assembly process, this number could be anywhere from the stated mount of time to X2+ for less experienced personnel on the customer end.

The initial question to ask yourself is how much is an hour of your personnel’s time worth to your business? 

Faztek assembly processes can vary widely in costs depending on how complex the assembly process is. Each year we assemble hundreds of different projects for our clients, which is typically in the range of $500 – $700.

On the low end, your assembly project may only be $25 – $50 if it’s a simple process. If you have several different projects, ranging in complexity, your assembly could run in the thousands of dollars. 

We have found that many of our customers much prefer this approach to allow their team to stay focused on what they do best and help to ensure any anticipated challenges will be dealt with right on the spot to avoid delays. 

Faztek assemblers know by just looking at the drawings the best way to lay out the project to put it together. How many times have you started to put something together only to realize you started in the wrong area or with the wrong piece and have to take it apart and start again? As the saying goes, “Time is Money.”


Here are a few additional considerations to help with your decision: 

  • Is the project complex or redundant? 
    • Complex would be defined as having 2 or more irregular design changes or alterations. For example, a set of panels that contain several panel sizes and doors. This would require the assembler to potentially start the “learning curve” process over again. This will require time (and potentially a certain amount of frustration.) 
    • Redundant projects would involve same sized panels or configurations that can be done over and over. This would require an initial learning curve but thereafter is more manageable.
  • If by chance there are any corrections that need to be made, they can be made before the project ever leaves the building. There is nothing more frustrating than having to stop and wait for parts in the middle of building something.
  • Do you have a designated person(s) with any mechanical or assembly experience? Someone who is mechanically inclined is going to have a better chance of not encountering any delays. As a general rule of thumb, each year we ship  5,500+ solutions, about 5-10% of which use our assembly services. The remaining amount make their best attempt as a starting point. Of this group, we hear from about 25% that hit assembly roadblocks.

Bottom line: discuss the assembly and installation complexity with your Faztek representative prior to figuring this out the hard way. The more planning you have on the front-end, the more smoothly your operation will be up and running. 

Benefits of Selling Direct vs Through a Distributor – Rare Benefit!

Many businesses overlook the benefits of selling direct rather than through a distributor. The numerous benefits that go along with this decision provide an increase in your overall ROI. Controlling costs, faster processes, stronger customer service and knowledge, customization, and better quality control are all possible, and better, when selling direct. 


Cost control

One of the biggest benefits of selling direct versus through a distributor is cost control. Selling direct eliminates distributor’s mark-up and fees. 

The customer deals directly from the source whom they are purchasing from so cutting out the middleman will save the customer 20-30% from the start. 


Speed up process

The customer does not have to contact a distributor, send in their quote,  and then wait for the distributor to quote their project. This speeds up the process from start to finish. 

Not only will you receive product quicker, but also answers. If there are questions on the quote submitted, the customer has the ability to talk with representatives straight from the seller instead of going through a middle man whose only job is to sell the product, not knowing the ins and outs of the products’ uses and abilities. 

Purchasing directly allows for an accelerated timeline in order to get product out the door faster and meet customer timelines, ensuring your customers have an optimal experience with product delivery. 


Customization is easier

Selling direct allows you, the customer, to talk directly with the product manufacturer and their  design team. This means even with a more difficult or complex project, designs can be customized to meet your standards. 

Given the ability to talk through ideas and thoughts with the design department directly means there is no loss of translation or information as opposed to going through a distributor and needing them to be the spokesperson for you.


Production process

If there are any hiccups or delays in the production process, you can be in direct contact with the manufacturer rather than relying on a distributor, who then might have additional delays. 

Communication is key when designing and shipping products. Adding an additional company in the mix only slows these processes down, causing delays and headaches down the road. 


Customer service

Going along with an accelerated production process, direct customer service is crucial when experiencing delays or even simple questions or revisions of a project. Being able to contact a sales representative straight from the manufacturer can make or break the development timeline of a project.

Not only will this accelerate the process but you are able to speak with people that are trained on developing these products, able to give you direct answers instead of needing to contact an additional company to assist you.  


Faztek- Selling direct for an optimal experience 

Faztek is aware that our greatest asset is our customers and we have worked hard to build a reputation of top notch, quality customer service. Customers are not numbers to us, customers are the key factor to our success and we want to treat them all with the same importance as anyone else.

With Faztek, your initial sales representative will always be your sales representative and a relationship is developed so you feel comfortable knowing the people you work directly with know the ins and outs of your product, and your company. From the quoting process, all the way to production and shipping, your sales representative is there for you for any questions you have throughout the process. 

Our process is simple. Production notifies your inside sales representative who then contacts you immediately, resolves and gets answers to aid production in order to continue your order flowing through without any major delays. 

Our quoting department has an impeccable record of turning around quotes in 1-3 days. This allows the customer in turn to get their project into production in less than a week’s time. 

Also, because Faztek sells direct, we can control costs on our side because we are not paying distributor fees and that can help the customer get custom quotes they need at a fair price. 

When you work with a distributor, the bigger the account, the more attention they give. That is not the case with Faztek, the account size does not matter to us because we feel every account is just as important as the next one and we strive to show that to each and every customer. 

Our processes are meant to benefit you. With cost control, quicker turnaround times, and customization options, Faztek’s goal is to make industrial solutions easy for our clients. To learn more about how Faztek can help your business with smarter industrial solution decisions, reach out to us today!

Thinking outside the box – shipping aluminum extrusion

Whether you’re shipping large or small quantities, navigating the best shipping solution can be tricky.  Both ground and freight (LTL) are the most common and both have pros and cons. 

Understanding the difference between these shipping methods, especially when it comes to shipping extrusion, will make it much easier to decide what is right for you and your company. The standard rule of thumb is 150 pounds or less can ship ground, but with extrusion, it is not that simple, and you need to think outside of the box. 


Ground Shipping

Let’s start with ground shipping which of course, is UPS and FedEx. Faztek uses both to ship daily. Did you know they both charge surcharges for what they call “extreme length”?  Extreme lengths start at 48” boxes which means extrusion falls into this category. 

This can cost your company an additional $95 or more in surcharges but starts at an additional small fee for shorter pieces of extrusion.  

  • 48”-71” extrusion is subject to an additional $18.50 to $23.50
  • 96”-105” extrusion can jump anywhere from $135 to $200.00
  • Large packages are considered 130” packages and up. This is calculated by length x girth (2x width) + (2x height) which can add an additional $70 fee.

Both companies charge this surcharge, taking the length and girth into account. FedEx’s combined length and girth cannot exceed 130” and UPS’s cannot exceed 165”.  One last factor to consider when shipping ground is that each box can weigh no more than 50 pounds each so even a large quantity of extrusion in short lengths can end up being costly if there are multiple boxes. 


Freight/LTL Shipping

LTL shipping is far more complicated than ground shipping and is not cut and dry either. LTL takes into account weight, density, and distance. Oversize and extreme length thresholds and surcharges vary from carrier to carrier. 

The more prevalent, national carriers generally abide by a similar set of rules and constraints. Here is an example of what that might look like:

  • Tier 1: 8-12 linear feet = $150-$250 surcharge
  • Tier 2: 12-16 linear feet = $300-$450 surcharge 
  • Tier 3: 16-20 linear feet = $450+ surcharge 

LTL common carriers’ rules and regulations often change annually. The last couple of years carriers are having to adapt and make the changes needed for them to remain profitable. Faztek has seen roughly a 15%-25% increase in extreme length fees since 2021 and we expect to see a continued increase. 

Remember weight, density, and distance go into the cost of shipping LTL. While weight and distance are self-explanatory, density can be a bit tricky as it relates to freight classing. While density is the primary driver of determining freight class for most products, it is not a one-size-fits-all, especially where aluminum extrusion comes into play. 

There are 18 freight classes ranging from 50-500 which is an industry-wide numeric classification and aluminum extrusion does not fall into one specific classification. This is due to other factors involved such as stow ability, ease of handling, and liability. Let’s break those down. 

Stow ability refers to how shipments can be arranged with one another, in terms of spatial organization. Since Faztek offers extrusion up to 12’ long, this becomes a stow ability issue since it isn’t a simple square pallet. 

Ease-of-handling is regarding the dimensions and packaging type, which determines how easy a shipment is to handle, load, unload, and any other necessary handling tasks. Again, Faztek offers long bars, and our assemblies can be up to 8’ or even taller, which makes the ease of handling more difficult at times. 

Lastly, liability takes into account the product value, in conjunction with the fragility of transporting the product. Liability and ease of handling often go hand-in-hand. 

Aside from all these factors, fuel cost can cause rate fluctuations, as well as accessorial fees like limited access for drop off, liftgates, delivery appointments or inside delivery.


Faztek Shipping Estimates

As discussed, shipping estimates are quite volatile which is why Faztek only offers an estimate. We do not promise our customers something that we cannot control. Standard shipping rates are generally good for up to 7 days and typically remain relatively static. With shipping as it is right now, Faztek has seen shipping costs change daily and it is just as frustrating for us as it is for our customers. 

LTL tariffs can be subject to fluctuations throughout the year, based on a few factors such as carriers struggling to keep up with capacity, or general rate increases in specific areas to discourage more freight than they can handle from coming in. 

On the other hand, if a carrier is slow and they need to fill up trucks, they will lower their tariffs to entice customers to choose them to carry their product. 

Just keep in mind, volume is a large factor in the volatility of tariffs and this is based on the carrier’s current capacity and flow of freight. And It is also important to note that products shipping by ground can be put onto a freight truck so this can affect the ground rates as well. 

If you need to know how much shipping is going to cost you, we suggest waiting until you have actual weights and dimensions so that Faztek can give you an up-to-date cost when your order is ready to ship. If you need information on shipping before you can place your order, we can give you an estimate, but cannot guarantee that same price by the time your order is ready to ship. 

Don’t want to ship LTL because of cost or a residential address? Let Faztek custom cut your bars for you to avoid an LTL shipment. Not sure what length of extrusion you will need? Take a stock bar and simply have us cut in half for one cut charge instead of two and that 12’ bar becomes 2 6’ bars that can now ship ground instead of LTL. Still feel like your shipping estimate is too high? Faztek can give you estimated weights and dimensions, and we encourage you to seek out a carrier that will fit into your budget. 

The majority of Faztek’s regular customers use their own shipping accounts that they have special discounts with, that Faztek may not be able to get. Faztek does not upcharge our shipping charges or add extra fees, whatever we are charged from the carrier, the customer is charged that same amount.

While price is a major concern, our goal is that your product arrives without damage and this sometimes requires different packing styles. Contact us today to let Faztek help you navigate the perfect solution for your company.  

Understanding Your Bill Of Materials To Ensure A Successful Project

One of the most important, trustworthy aspects of any relationship is cost transparency. 

  • Why does this solution cost what it does?
  • Are there a lot of unnecessary markups in this quote? 
  • Are there ways I can lower my level of investment? 

In this article, we are going to break down the key components of a Faztek bill of materials (BOM) to ensure you know everything about the quote we are providing to you. 

Why is this important? By understanding what goes into one of our quotes you can determine if certain aspects of your project can be downsized or omitted. The right Faztek consultant will work closely with you to evaluate any particular trade-offs involved in possible omissions. 

Aside from a parts list and your project details, one important feature of a Faztek BOM is the tag drawing. While this is not a detailed assembly process outline or complete directions, it can help in the assembly process by giving you a general overview of your complete product.  

Frequently asked question: Do Faztek projects come with detailed assembly instructions? 

Since most of our projects are customized, including detailed directions would add tremendous cost to you, the buyer. We do offer assembly and installation services, though, that can save you and your team a lot of time working through the process on your own.  

One useful feature that all BOMs feature is the estimated assembly time for the product you’ve purchased. This is the estimated amount of time that we expect a Faztek employee to be able to assemble your system. Since all of our solutions are customized to your specifications, we are not able to include detailed instructions with all units. We do, however, offer assembly and installation resources as needed. 

If you’re curious about having Faztek assist with your assembly process, check out this blog post here: [link to this blog after you publish that one]

Another commonly asked question with a BOM is whether or not a particular item a customer requested has been included in the quote. This can be found, often as a custom “CP” part found at the top of the BOM or it’s located within the body of the BOM. This item in question can also be located with the help of Faztek support or from the Faztek designer. 

In certain cases, a customer may request a single part that is actually multiple parts. For instance, a customer may request to include hardware that will fasten a table top to the quoted framework. 

This Faztek item is a single part number, 13AC7816, and is called a Table Top Mounting Bracket. This part number consists of several parts that allow this customer to fasten the table top to the framework. However, the customer may not immediately recognize this. 

While this article will answer many questions about Faztek BOMs, some may still remain. We encourage you to reach out to your Faztek point of contact to get all answers to your questions.