Skip to content
receive my estimate
Lee K. HouseMay 7, 20245 min read

How Long Does it Take to Receive a Quote?

So, you’ve sent your project details to a converter and are waiting for the final word on its cost. When can you expect a quote? Because you’re using custom designs and processes, there’s only one honest answer: It depends

For over thirty-seven years, Strouse has been a confident guide in flexible material converting helping companies meet their project deadlines. 

If you haven’t received your quote yet, don’t fret. Today, I’ll explain how custom designs move through our pipeline to help you achieve the best final result.

What Goes Into My Project Quote?

Your project quote is primarily determined by the cost of the material, labor, machine run time, and any tooling costs involved. For a more detailed breakdown of a die cut quote, you can see the cost of a die cut, or you can get a quote here:

What Might Prolong My Quoting Process?

Multiple factors could prolong your estimating process, so we’ll discuss some of the more common ones. 


Reaching out to our vendors to confirm material prices is an essential step in our estimating process. Unfortunately, these vendors can take time to respond, especially if we’re working through a manufacturer or distributor. 

Strouse may go through multiple levels of approval to get an OK on a material quote depending on the vendor and the speed at which they give us current, accurate pricing. Part of this is also comparing pricing to get the best value for your dollar, which might involve reaching out to multiple vendors.

In addition, while re-orders typically take less time to quote than new projects, we might still wait to hear back from one of our vendors to confirm the updated material pricing

We aim to provide accurate pricing in all of our quotes, and occasionally, that means waiting for a vendor to confirm a material quote.


Your design complexity determines the time our engineers need to evaluate your project.

  • Simple designs (e.g., a simple, circular gasket design) often have a 2-day turnaround time, flying through the quoting process with fewer questions. 
  • Complex designs (e.g., a microfluidic design with a 14-layer material stack-up) require longer to reverse engineer into a process.

Similarly, the number of unknown factors, like material that has yet to be specced in or tested, will affect the speed at which your converter can give you an accurate project quote.

“It’s like playing tennis: the customer serves the ball into our court, then we study it, try to figure it out, then send it back with questions… back and forth…” — Tyler Gross, Product Development Engineering Manager at Strouse

Reverse-engineering your product based on a design requires an engineer's touch. Engineers turn your design into a suitable manufacturing process and then purchase materials and tools accordingly. 


Suppose your part design has nine different layers, and throughout your prototyping phase, you’ve been building one part at a time and using a jig to put it all together. This type of process can be a manufacturing nightmare

Once this design reaches manufacturing, a converter will look for ways to combine the different layers to help match your die cut tolerances and maintain an accurate tolerance stack-up. 

While this process will save you money in the long run, it may add a few days to your quote

Our engineers will likely contact you with questions to ensure there are no issues with combining layers, such as additional pieces you plan on inserting. Being upfront with how you assemble your final product and clarifying any materials inserted between the parts will save you time during this process. 


Your tolerance stack-up is how the measurements of each layer align with the others given your specified tolerances.

tolerance stack up

Think of it this way: die cut tolerances are essentially a range of acceptable measurements. Therefore, if layer A and layer B have specified tolerances of 1”±0.25” for one measurement, they might end up with varying results, such as 0.75” for A and 1.25” for B.

Yet, in the drawing shown above, the goal is for the holes to line up between the different layers. What matters most in a tolerance stack-up isn’t the individual tolerances on every layer but the overall alignment that allows the part to function

The intended final result has a much tighter tolerance than the original specifications to achieve the desired outcome. Individually tolerating each part from one another could result in errors, so in this case, you’d ideally clarify layer tolerances in relation to one another

When it comes to the tolerances:

  • Too-loose tolerances can ruin your intended final result by giving each layer too much variability.
  • Too-tight tolerances can be challenging and expensive to make.

Often, too-tight tolerances result from using machine or title block tolerances instead of the functional tolerances that accurately represent your part's needs. 

Each layer of a part stack-up holds its own tolerances, meaning each additional component is held to tighter tolerance standards. 

The earlier you can discuss functional tolerances with a converter, the better. If your tolerance stack-up is confusing or extremely tight, developing your quote may take us longer. 


Why buy three screwdrivers when you can get a multitool? Engineers optimize your design by minimizing the processes your part must undergo. 

Adjusting your design so it can be manufactured using fewer machines and combining layers may allow you to purchase fewer tools, thus lowering your die cut tooling cost

What Can I Do While Waiting For A Quote?

If you’re still waiting on a quote, feel free to ask your Territory Manager if there’s any other information they need. Also, let your TM know if you have any additional information about your project tolerances, alternative materials, and more. The sooner your converter is made aware of any updates, the sooner we can update your project accordingly.

If you haven’t reached out yet or have more design factors to discuss, set up a Discovery Meeting with us or see more of the product development resources in our Learning Center.


Lee K. House

Copywriter & Content Creator for Strouse. Lee graduated from the University of Alabama in the Spring of 2022 with a double major in English and Spanish.