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Procurement Strategies: Follow-Up Reminders

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Douglas Alexander
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Re: What would you do?
Douglas Alexander   10/23/2012 3:55:15 PM
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@Barbara, you have described exactly what makes one distributor better than the next. The second effort that makes the customer believe that the distributor identifies with both their errors and the customer's needs, will lead to future guaranteed business. The distributor that says "Sorry Buddy, but we did the best we can," should not anticipate additional business. In this case, the distributor offered to ship the other parts on the purchase order, free of charge. That's shows some identification with responsibility, but it took me one phone call and about 10 additioanl minutes to find the parts through Powell Electronics, confirm the factory stock, and place the order via a credit card. So, you are correct. If I could do that, so could have the errant distributor. In the end, it is the buyer's responsibility to make it happen and the distributor's responsibility to win the buyer's confidence. In this case, my confidence in this supplier has slipped a few notches.

Douglas Alexander
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Blogger
Re: Too true
Douglas Alexander   10/23/2012 3:46:12 PM
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@Flyingscot, Happy Ending. I found the parts that were quoted for 4-5 weeks. The errant distributor is not off my hook, but I am off my client's hook having found out in time that my original schedule was in danger as a result of the human error at the distributor center. FYI, The replacement distributor, Powell Electronics, said they had the parts, not in local stock, but at the Amphenol factory in Illinois. I asked Powell to check with the factory and confirm the stock. The factory responded that they had the parts and they would be drop-shipping me today or tomorrow, so hopefully, if nothing else goes wrong, I will have the parts in my hot little hands by the end of this week and in time for the scheduled build on the 30th.

Barbara Jorgensen
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What would you do?
Barbara Jorgensen   10/23/2012 3:40:55 PM
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Hey Douglas: In general I'm OK with human error (in spite of being infallible myself.) Stuff does happen. Taking responsibility is also good, but the distributor could have done one step better and tried to find those parts for you. Sure, they may have to call a competitor, but it is better to give a competitor a small sale than to lose a customer. I suspect it would have been easier for the distrbutor to find those parts than you go out and re-create the wheel. That is what i consider to be service above and beyond and that's what would keep me coming back.

Douglas Alexander
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Blogger
Re: Too true
Douglas Alexander   10/23/2012 1:00:31 PM
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Flyingscot, I just received this from the Distributor after asking how the errors were made? "Doug It was an error on my part. It happens sometimes even with big distributors. I looked at the wrong line when I quoted it to you. I apologize." That was their entire explanation...human error. Now I have got to get busy and find the part that now has a 4-5 week lead time that I need next week. I probably will not use this distributor again. But, the individual did take responsibility and so that means something too. It was an employee that screwed up and so does that put the Distribution in jeopardy of ever getting my business again? I would like to hear what our readers would think and do in this or a similar situation. Please comment.

Douglas Alexander
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Re: Too true
Douglas Alexander   10/23/2012 12:50:44 PM
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Flyingscot, I agree that one shouldn't have to go through the hassle but in the real day to day, things often turn out less than optimal. The example below is an excerpt from an email I just received today. I had to have all parts in kits by the 30th. Two weeks ago, the longest lead time quoted was 10 days. Sometimes purchasing people have to use sources that are not optimal if that source is the only vendor with stock on hand or readily available. In the case cited, the bare PCB is completed and assembly can start as soon as the kit is audited. All parts were to be in by now. You and I both know "stuff" happens. Read the reality below and consider that I have a week left before an emergency option becomes an impossibility. I bought myself a week by checking in on the order status as a reminder to myself. JG0-0024NL – parts are on my shelf 31-71052-10RFX – I misquoted the lead time – these have a 4-5 week lead time. CYP15G0101DXB-BBXN – these are taking longer than expected from the OEM. I anticipate their arrival by next week. They have to go through customs. 88E1121RA0-TFE1C0N – parts are on my shelf MT41J64M16JT-15E:G – parts are on my shelf XC6SLX45T-2FGG484N – these still have to go through customs. They will also be here next week. I apologize for any inconvenience Doug. Please let me know if you would like me to ship the 3 parts I have on my shelf. I will ship to you at No Charge to you. Thank you

FLYINGSCOT
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Supply Network Guru
Too true
FLYINGSCOT   10/23/2012 4:50:40 AM
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I would not do business with a company that did not "do what it said it would do" and as such would not go to too much hassle setting reminders to chase others.  



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