Quick background: I work on a team of two building estimators/draftsmen for a company that is relatively new to manufacturing Pre-Fab metal buildings. The company is still somewhat figuring out who they are and what their main focus will be. Pre-Fab metal buildings are just one of several avenues they're pursuing. Point being, none of us here, including management has any experience in the field of manufacturing or erecting buildings.
The issue we as building estimators (who also happen to be relatively new at our job) are running into is that when a request for quote comes in, the sales dept., instead of looking over the drawings/specs and forwarding us the pertinent info on our official RFQ form, will simply hit forward on the email they receive, often without so much as gazing over it, and expect us to dig through all of the drawings, specs, addendums, etc... to find what we need.
In turn, they expect a complete quote along with the drawings we make that they can again simply forward to the customer without haveing to involve themselves. I think this may be due to two things: 1) the obvious one, sales dept. is simply being lazy, and 2) often times they don't have the expertise to evaluate the request properly, and so by forwarding it to us, they hope to cover up their own shortcomings.
The second issue is that when we get a building that looks to be too complicated for our current level of skill/expertise, and we inform sales that this will not be a project we can take on, we are told to do it anyway. So we sit there and try to make sense of things on our own, having no resource to go to for help, and are expected to turn out quality buildings that will not only pass engineering but also fit together well in the field.
Both of us have voiced our frustration before, but the manager kinda laughs it off in the moment and proceeds to ask the following day how far we are on the project...
What I want to do now is schedule an official meeting with our immediate manager and hope that an actual meeting will have more impact than just mentioning things in passing.
The hierarchy is as follows: CEO, GM, Sales Manager, Estimators.
My question is, do we include the GM in this meeting, or invite the sales mgr only and see how this goes before going further up the chain?
Also, any other advice on what to say in the meeting would be appreciated. I have written down a few key points on what we need from sales dept. etc...