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Release Notes: Compare Quotes with New Marketplace Features

By Spencer Nelson · February 11, 2020

The latest update to Lumi includes a set of features we're particularly excited about: an all-new way to manage your quoting process and choose the best option for every packaging component you need.

With this release, we’re giving your team the tools to better understand costs, compare across manufacturers, and respond directly in the Lumi interface.

Why we built this

Finding the best prices for packaging can be a time-consuming and often enigmatic process.

When you send quote requests to traditional suppliers, you never know if the result will provide an apples-to-apples comparison. Quotes are typically obscured behind opaque bundled pricing, based on assumptions that suppliers made on your behalf. This can leave you wondering if the quote you selected is actually the best choice.

We wanted to build a better tool to help you get pricing directly from the best manufacturers, and see the true costs and tradeoffs of every option.

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How manufacturers are chosen

Behind the scenes at Lumi, we have been building tools that help factories participate in the quoting and supply chain management processes integral to your packaging.

When you submit a quote request through Lumi, our structured data format captures every detail of your specifications, target price, target delivery date, delivery location, and other preferences. This helps Lumi narrow down the selection from thousands of factories in our marketplace down to a handful that are most likely to meet your needs.

This update doesn't change the factory selection process, but it does give you greater visibility into each stage of the manufacturer's process, so you can even see factories that rejected your request and why.

Understanding your landed costs

One of the biggest challenges in comparing quotes is understanding what is and isn’t included in the prices you’ve been given. 

The idea of a bundled price may be appealing for its simplicity, but if a one-time cost, like tooling, is included in that price, you may be paying recurring costs on a non-recurring charge. That’s why quotes on Lumi are broken down into standardized categories before being summarized and displayed as an all-in landed cost. With Lumi you never pay recurring fees for non-recurring costs.

As you browse the quotes returned by manufacturers, clicking into a quote reveals more detailed information about the manufacturer and allows you to see all the price breaks of that quote at once. Expanding a price break within that quote shows an itemized list of costs.

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Having costs broken down helps you to make sense of the trade-offs of any given quote. Not all prices are equal. Sometimes a lower price means a longer lead time that may not work with your team’s supply chain needs. Higher tooling prices on the first order can often yield more efficient, lower unit prices as you scale and reorder larger quantities of that item. A lower item produced at a factory farther away from the item’s final destination, may not end up being cheaper when you consider the all-in cost including delivery. These are the types of insights that Lumi allows you to drive when comparing your manufacturing options.

Compare quotes across manufacturers and products

One of the biggest challenges we see companies face is translating quotes for different product categories, and from different manufacturers, to a common language and then putting that information into a format that gives their team the ability to all of it at once. 

In this release, we've done the work to combine all that information into a single view so you don’t have to waste time rounding up PDFs from various email inboxes and making a huge spreadsheet to compare the price of a corrugated box versus a poly mailer.

Beyond simply putting all that information into a single place to view, this update adds filters to help you focus on the right quotes when making your decisions.

You can use filters to create a view that compares only a single product category, excludes quotes based on lead times that may not fit with your fulfillment schedule, or focuses on a set of specific requests your team submitted. Filtering gives you the ability to compare high-level information from different quotes before digging into the specifics of a single quote.

Filtered views can also be shared across your team so that you can easily collaborate on your decision making.

Responding to quotes

After reviewing quotes and arriving at a decision, you can accept or reject those quotes and give feedback directly to manufacturers through Lumi. This takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of completing an RFP once you’ve made your decision.

Accepting a quote kicks off the next steps of starting the proofing process, and ultimately being able to add the item to an order that will be produced and delivered through Lumi.

You can also use Lumi to provide feedback to the manufacturers you did not end up choosing for production. Providing feedback to manufactures is an essential part of helping them be a better, more competitive option the next time you have a need that matches up with their capabilities. 


As always, we’re excited to hear from you and want to know how we can continue to improve the experience of managing your supply chain!

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