It may take longer but for your business it is the way to go. The way is a partnership, with a company that will work through your project with you. Some may say this takes out the competition between manufacturers in turn raising the price automatically. In reality the competition is up front, before the greenhouse that your business will rely on is the chess piece between manufacturers. The price of the greenhouse doesn’t go down in bid situations, the offering is simply reduced. Vetting companies and partnering with one you trust leads to a well thought out and designed greenhouse. In the typical greenhouse bid situation we've seen time and time again where bids come back that aren't comparable. This is due to several reasons i.e. each company has different ways of doing things, in bids price is a huge deciding factor so changes are made to the bid to reduce cost etc. This creates confusion for the buyer. The bids may be ok but deciphering the differences and coming to the conclusion of which one is right for the business is difficult.
I hope it is so let's say a partnership is the way to go for you. How do you decide on a greenhouse company? Think of this similarly to picking a surgeon. You will want to know their background, number of successful surgeries, updated technologies and procedures that are used etc. You typically wouldn't go in asking the details of how the surgery will be performed. You want to know "the odds" of a favorable outcome. Why not do this exact line of questioning with greenhouse manufacturers? This is done by asking how they work with customers, projects they have worked on, asking for referrals to current customers, going and seeing their greenhouses etc. It is also important to talk to the person or persons that will be working directly with you on your project. It will be a team effort. Trust is key.
After a greenhouse company has been selected the work of designing your greenhouse comes next. Besides going into detail on an example greenhouse and weighing out all the options, the only advice I can give is to be open and forthcoming with all information. Don’t hold back future plans, questions, ideas or even the smallest detail. The purpose of a greenhouse manufacture is to create a greenhouse that helps your business excel. This is done with a totally open collaboration. On the flip side you should get and expect the greenhouse company to be open about how they are designing and why they are suggesting certain attributes. If you have questions or ideas on the design, ask them, tell them.