Quoting the System & the Customer Proposal


15 January 2016
James Richardson, Fujitsu, commissioning
James Richardson commissioning
In a series of articles, the experienced Fujitsu technical team takes you through the process and pitfalls of an air conditioning project from start to after sales.

​Here James Richardson, Fujitsu’s technical engineer, looks at the quote and customer proposal.

Now the design of the building has been decided, as per the last column (November 2015 issue), and the loads for each room have been calculated we are able to start to put a quote together.

​Our theoretical two storey building, which we introduced in the first column, has a floor area of 160m2 per floor with open plan and cellular offices. Different tenants occupy each floor.

Choosing the Controls

With the above in mind we have decided to go with a three-pipe heat recovery VRF system for each floor. This was decided due to the lack of space for lots of condensing units that would be required if we went down the split route. The customer has also requested that there is a requirement for simultaneous heating and cooling.

At this stage there are several things that we have to take into account. The customer may have requested two different quotes. For example, quote one for all ducted indoor units and quote two for all cassette indoor units.

When selecting the indoor units we will also need to take into account a suitable remote controller for each unit which will be specified by the customer:
  • Simple remote
  • Standard 7-day timer
  • Infer-red receiver
  • Wireless remote
For open plan offices you may need to group-control several units together, so only one controller is needed, not one per system.

The customer may require more advanced control and require central control or a BMS solution. This all needs to be taken into account when quoting to make sure all the extras are supplied. For example if there is multi tenancy and electrical apportionment is required, a BMS interface would be needed.
When quoting a VRF system most manufactures have a design/quote program to help put together a full package. ​​
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What to Provide in the Report

The days of sending the customer just a price for a VRF are long gone. Most customers now expect to have a full report alongside the quotation.

The following information would now be expected:
  • EER
  • SEER
  • Pipe work schematic
  • Wiring  diagrams (schematics)
  • Noise date
  • Indoor unit details
  • Outdoor unit details
  • Options
  • Materials list
  • Refrigerant quantity
  • Refrigerant pipe-work sizes
When producing the quote you are also able to submit a full report. This will ensure a full and professional package to impress the customer and provide them with all the information they require.

​That said, there are occasions where providing too much information can work against you, especially if it finds its way into the hands of your competitors. This is where you have to know your customer and judge how much information to provide.

The first quote that is sent is usually the first of a number of revisions. This is due to various issues, such as requested cost reduction options, building layout changes, additional works and so on. The larger the project, the more changes will occur and the more time it takes to convert the initial enquiry into an order.
Additional considerations that may need to be addressed in the event of an order:
  • Are there any planning restrictions that may affect your design approach?
  • Site structural issues? These may require the services of a structural engineer.
  • Landlord permissions? If the client is a tenant, has permission to proceed been obtained?
  • Financials.
  • Project time scale/programme.

Changes to the Report

Last but not least how to present your quotation. In most cases it will be sent by e-mail with some attachments, such as product pictures and CAD drawings. However, for some clients it may be better to present the quotation in person. This way any questions can be handled there and then and you can take time to walk the client through your decision making process. It also gives you the chance to gauge the reaction to your offer on the spot. 

Next time we will look at installation planning and on-site works.