What’s the difference between an excuse and a reason?
Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing, Inc.
What is the difference between an excuse and a reason? Certainly, anyone could find the definition for each and understand better. For reference, here is what Dictionary.com lists as the definition for excuse and reason.
- Excuse: an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.
- Reason: a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, event, etc.
At SafeSourcing we have encountered many excuses and reasons from a variety of sources. We hear both from our vendor partners every single day in regard to the invitations we extend to them to submit proposals during our eRFx Events on behalf of our customers. This is not a negative statement, but simply an observation. What is interesting about excuses and reasons is that can both have the same effect.
The excuses and reasons vary fairly widely. Let’s look at a few examples in an effort to understand them.
One reason we might find that a vendor we have invited to quote on our customer’s business is that they do not have the capacity at the present to provide the products or services at the scale that the customer requires. This is a reason because it is based on facts. This reason is perfectly understandable. Another reason a vendor might list for declining our invitation is their inability to provide pricing at competitive rates. Perhaps their own supply chain does not allow for the appropriate level of discount that our customer requires. Again, this is a reason why a vendor cannot participate in an eRFx Event.
Excuses can tend to be a little hazy and difficult to support by facts as reasons can. One example of an excuse we might hear in response to our invitation to participate in an eRFx Event is the lack of time. A vendor representative might offer their travel schedule as their excuse for declining noting that they do not have time at present. While it’s possible that time restraints exist, in most cases, this can be worked out so that the vendor can still participate. Another example of an excuse may be found in the vendor’s personal preferences. The vendor might prefer to work directly with the customer to develop a proposal. This excuse is fairly transparent in that they would prefer not to participate competitively in an eRFx Event, but rather deal directly and exclusively with the customer. It’s easy to imagine why this would be beneficial to the vendor, but it’s more difficult to see how this benefits the customer.
These are only a handful of examples of excuses and reasons, but they illustrate that there is a difference between the two and that they are not equal in status. Vendors aren’t the only parties that have reasons and excuses, of course. Sometimes our customers have reasons why they choose not to use eRFx Events for their sourcing even though to do so with SafeSourcing has historically caused savings in excess of 24%. Some reasons are perfectly understandable such as when the customer is in an existing contract that currently prevents their use of our services. Some excuses are just that like when a customer prefers to do business with a certain vendor because that vendor has “been a good partner” to them over the years. This statement may be true, but tends to be more of an explanation than a basis.
At SafeSourcing, we always encourage our vendor partners and our customers to consider carefully the decisions they make. We understand reasons, but we respectfully challenge excuses to the benefit of all parties involved.
Contact SafeSourcing, Inc. if you’re interested in learning more about how RFQ Events can help your company advance the bases and achieve savings.