Before a prospective customer can request a quote, they create an item. An item is similar to a SKU (stock keeping unit). It's a single component, with a set of specifications.
For most products, a minimum level of specifications detail is required to request a quote. Typically this includes the overall dimensions. However, the customer may choose to leave some specifications unfilled if they are open to your recommendations.
You will receive notifications for opportunities in the marketplace with items that match your capabilities.
To fill in incomplete specs: If the customer is unsure about some of the specifications, or has left some details blank pending your recommendations, you should add the complete specifications that match your pricing.
To expand your opportunity reach: By default, you will receive notifications about all new opportunities that meet the capabilities of your locations. You can also browse the marketplace and quote opportunities which are slightly outside your capabilities.
Example: If a prospective customer is requesting a quote for poly mailers and you make compostable poly mailers, you won't receive notifications about about that opportunity. But it could be worth quoting the opportunity with alternate specs if you can successfully produce the design.
To offer lower pricing: As you know, small alterations in specs can save a lot of money. Without knowing it, a customer may quote an item with specs that require more expensive materials or more time-intensive manufacturing.
If you can make a small adjustment to a customer's specs and save them on unit cost, this could give you better odds of getting the job. You can offer up multiple quotes to show the customer pricing for their requested specs, compared to your suggested alternative(s).
Example: A prospective customer requests an E-flute box. You carry C-flute in stock, but because you'd have to order E-flute, the cost is higher. You could create two quotes for the box — one with C-flute and one with E-flute.