Every now and then …

Иконописwe give a quote to someone, they see a part number, find a vendor who is selling this at some enhanced discount for any number of reasons, and then ask us to match it. I am guessing that they don’t realize we actually compare our costs to various measures, and make sure our pricing is not out of whack (sometimes our suppliers just can’t seem to give us the same deals they give others, go figure). So we look at the pricing, see that it is a sale of some sort, see that the offer is below our cost and kindly decline. Seems to happen more often than not with one particular OEM (whom shall remain nameless).

I often get emails from posts like this, where another vendor (and quite a few read this blog … go figure) shares their similar experience. I bet I don’t even need to say any more, and 10’s of heads will be nodding vigorously in agreement, and even naming said OEM. I bet most of them know whom I am talking about. Please don’t guess and name them in the comments.

A rule of OEM thumb is you don’t piss off your re-sellers. If you do this enough, they stop being your re-sellers. You help them all, treat em fairly, and don’t play favorites. That is, unless you want them to stop being re-sellers.

Oh, and BTW, we’ve actually signed like 3 more (re-sellers) this month … A major goal for us is to drive lots of business through them. And these lessons that I am learning by watching others succeed, or in this case, #fail, I will try to apply. If our re-sellers are successful, we will be too. Remarkable concept.

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3 thoughts on “Every now and then …

  1. Some of us legally are mandated to accept the lowest bidder for certain forms of interaction. It sucks for those of us who compare honestly on other metrics, but I understand in relation to those who do not.

  2. @Jason

    Funny you mention that … we’ve had RFPs tell us specifically that lowest price was not a guarantee of a win, and then see it win. And we’ve had RFPs say the lowest price wins, and then we see something in the mid range win.

    University/Government procurement is an odd beast. As our model is not fire sale on all parts and not selling parts, this particular interaction doesn’t bug me. Made me chuckle a little more than anything. We do have customers try comparing sale pricing or special discount pricing to normal pricing every now and then. This particular interaction was commercial in nature though. One we had a few years ago reproduced a quote from another vendor where the special discount and reason for it, was spelled out for the customer in plain language. They got angry when we pointed it out.

  3. There’s a bit of a game in the “lowest bid” scenario. If we can write the specs just right, then only one vendor will be appropriate regardless of the bid…

    But the game plays against the honest on both sides. My public money side wants to find the best price for an *honest* evaluation of the platform. My personal side knows that evaluations aren’t honest. And my daily side must cope with the fall-out. (Oh, hai, certain vendor that may be different than yours but still dumped on us.)

    sigh. I was at UCB when the whole scandal broke with respect to the UC-managed labs. And I’m originally from the South (well, actually below the South). So I understand the reasoning, and it still sucks. I’m griping from my side rather than yours.

    But I also don’t have a concrete plan available for fixing the problems of dishonest evaluations when we cannot require things past the purchase. I do remember Dr. Bailey’s wonderful metrics that forced a vendor to bring more boxes to the lab when the existing ones didn’t perform… Wish I had that power.

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