Do what I say not what I do.

December 2nd, 2013

Are you watching the holiday patterns of suppliers you are or have dealt with in sourcing projects and thought that some are contradictory to how they deal with your company?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

This holiday season there has been much made about the many companies that are offering “Black Friday” deals early; some before Thanksgiving and some on Thanksgiving Day.  Many people have criticized this practice as infringing on the time we all get to spend with our families by requiring us to be in the stores to get the best deals.  These deals are seldom about “value” or what more that company can offer beyond price, they are about one thing; low prices, bringing more shoppers to sell more product.

As I have followed these news stores I have realized how many of these companies and retailers are the same ones that have refused to participate in our customers’ online procurement events because their business is more than just price, it is about “value” and a relationship.  In reality it seems to be about something else whether they admit it or not; control.  I say this because their holiday business models resemble nothing that speaks of value, nothing that speaks of safe products, and nothing that speaks of the relationships they want to form.  They only speak of “door busting” sale prices to drive more sales.   I am not saying that there is anything necessarily wrong with this, but I am saying there is a glaring difference from the message from these same companies I am used to getting.

Also during this same time I have been contacted by companies trying to sell me software and services stating that if I can make a business decision before the end of the year they can give me a great deal.  These are the same companies that I have personally tried to engage in online RFPs and RFQs for our customers that historically refused to participate due to the fact that their solutions are about finding the right fit for their customers and price is only discussed after that fit is found.  In many of these cases all I have done is put in a simple inquiry of their offering and they have repeatedly offered me better and better and pricing.  No mention of how their value is the best, just better pricing.

My point in today’s blogs is that as buyers, you should not be forced to accept the response that suppliers won’t participate in your events because of the supposed “cheapening” of their product or service.  In the end it is only about control and not wanting to have to compete with other suppliers and vendors.  These same suppliers in any other situation are willing to give you the world in order to get your business as long as it is on their terms.  So stay firm in your processes and the guidelines for your sourcing projects; it isn’t that these suppliers can’t participate, it is that they choose not to.

At SafeSourcing we run dozens of events every month for our customers and constantly hear how a supplier cannot be involved in the process for the reasons mentioned above.  We know better and so do you. Our process truly is focused on the greatest value for our customers with price being only one component of that value. For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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