General Chat Thread, Do you sell cartridges - is this a cartridge shop! in General; my current ink supplier is getting up my nose!
I rang up to ask for a 2 replacement compatabile black ...
15th July 2011, 11:51 AM #1
Do you sell cartridges - is this a cartridge shop!
my current ink supplier is getting up my nose!
I rang up to ask for a 2 replacement compatabile black cartridges for an HP2600
"have you got a product ref number?" I'm asked
"no - they are for an HP2600"
"I need a product reference number"
Are there not 3 trillion people ringing me everyday asking for my ink business!
15th July 2011, 11:53 AM #2
Simple solution is have a list of ink suppliers on a mailing list...
Email the mailing list saying I need the following ink, best price gets the business, they see that its been emailed to each other and try to do the best price possible. If there are joint matching prices, email them and say ok, you have the same price, do me a better deal, rinse and repeat until you get the best price possible.
15th July 2011, 11:54 AM #3
15th July 2011, 12:01 PM #4
A good response...however as Si has discovered...a simple solution leads to simple suppliers.
Originally Posted by nephilim
Others place good service and product knowledge above cut-throat pricing (message)
15th July 2011, 12:03 PM #5
True, most of the time I dont bother with what I have said because you beat them anyways, but its still worth doing if you need to get quotes
15th July 2011, 12:06 PM #6
Repeat for a week and see if they end up paying you to take their ink
Originally Posted by nephilim
15th July 2011, 12:13 PM #7
Doing this method I managed to get a £700 set of Konica Minolta 10000 page toner set, waste toner set and waste drum for £385 so it can work to your advantage if the companies want your business...then we just told them that we have had it at that price before and thats what we want again, and if they want to keep out business they'll do it. We only use them for that product so they make a loss with us each time!
Last edited by nephilim; 15th July 2011 at 12:15 PM.
15th July 2011, 12:21 PM #8
Love it. I just email our supplier with :
Originally Posted by SimpleSi
Can i have 2 x 2600 black / 3 x 3700 yellow and 1 x full set 3600
and get it all. they even sent me a list of their codes for compatibles and the original codes should i need them
15th July 2011, 02:54 PM #9
Perhaps it's because I'm now working with ink, etc... but knowing the other side of the coin, I'd tell you to go jump, or, if I was particularly nasty, send you counterfeits and leave you to figure out what was going wrong.
Originally Posted by nephilim
You should be aware that counterfeiting is the new buzzword in the printer consumables industry and businesses are getting caught out... It's not something I'm involved in as I get bulk refill inks so it's all 3rd party up front but someone is going to fall foul of it eventually...
Ultimately though, it may be a great way to save money for your budget but it does absolutely nothing for ensuring anyone stays in business and you will get idiot after idiot that doesn't deliver, sends the wrong stuff or simply takes your money and runs so it'll have a nasty habit of repaying you in Karma if you're not careful.
With my own business I simply don't entertain price bids and won't.. not ever... Quality products, support and the like aren't cheap and working for nothing really isn't my style... But hey... two sides of the same coin...
16th July 2011, 05:10 PM #10
I think we should send you on a Procurement Course, in-fact a number of Edugeeks need to attend one, that type of procurement is not liked by Local Authorities. There are actually set standards and methods within Local Authorities for procuring anything be it a print cartridge or a new classroom, and publicly disclosing who you are competing against and then playing pricing wars isn't liked or approved, in-fact in some cases it can make the process null and void.
Originally Posted by nephilim
Suppliers should be sent a BCCd email (with you keeping a record of who was invited to quote), they get given the spec, IE your ink and toner needs, any specific features like the box must be sky blue pink and say PH not HP on it and a date for them to be returned. They should all then be evaluated according to a scale based on the specification, and then the order awarded after the process of evaluating the quotes. That may not be the cheapest supplier as its all about Best Value so if supplier Y has let you down twice and Z is £1 more but has been excellent, handled warranty issues better etc then you can award it to them etc...
That may sound a lot but actually with inks its quite simple:
I need X, Y and Z Inks, they must be genuine HP, please let me have pricing by 12 noon on "date"
You open the folder with them all on that date, evaluate them so you go supplier 1 is £x for them, but there compatibles thus no points for that as you stated you needed HP
supplier 2 is £y but is genuine HP but cannot supply Ink Y
supplier 3 is £u, genuine HP and supply's all
You get the drift, thus you have a points score for them, in that example supplier 3 has got the highest points as they have met all areas of your specification and needs, the eval criteria can be more than just its is HP etc.
I am sure @GrumbleDook can go into it a lot more than I can as he is a guru on these areas but I do worry about some peoples procurement standards, yes FMSiS has gone and been replaced with a watered down tool but actually it made schools prove they were doing the right thing. When I look at all the hoops I had to jump through for my new SAN it took me a month of work (and suppliers just as long) but ensured that we got best value.
16th July 2011, 05:17 PM #11
I am completely clear with who I email, and state in the emails (as it wittles down) that they have matched and please beat it. I do not hide from them and play them off each other by lying.
16th July 2011, 05:19 PM #12
Ink is a 2 a penny business, I get loads of calls each day but I only ever use one supplier untill they stop delivering what I want. They should be able to receive my email and get my ink to me the next day without fuss and should be cheapish. I dont expect to be sent products i dont like/want/ cant afford, a decent sales person should be able to second guess what you want through the building up of a realationship. I recently had to mail a company because the new sales dude wasn't working so I got my old one back, Happy times.
16th July 2011, 05:23 PM #13
I got a call after work on my personal mobile from someone trying to sell ink! I was on the loo at the time. I've now said that I don't want my mobile number given out. A few suppliers have it, but they treat it with respect and they get our toner business.
16th July 2011, 10:27 PM #14
A quick note on purchasing / procurement (there is a difference) to clear a few things up.
There is nothing wrong with emailing a large group of suppliers with a shopping list and then choosing from the resulting responses. Many suppliers will deem it unsuitable that you let other suppliers know who you have asked. You will get unscrupulous suppliers who, one finding out you have contacted a competitor, will make fake calls to that competitor to find out their prices and then undercut them by anything from a few pence to many pounds. The idea is that if they get your business once they can slowly raise their margins again until they are more expensive than others but since you have a positive relationship with them you will stick with them due to better customer service. There are a number of members on here who have very personal experience of this.
There is nothing wrong with approaching a number of suppliers and giving them a shopping list and asking them to sort it out between themselves and come back to you with a final set of prices.
There is nothing wrong with many practices that many of us do ...
Depending on how much you are looking to spend there are rules, regulations, laws and then ethics ... and yes, ethics is, unfortunately, something that is not exactly part of the other 3!
The biggest thing you can be asked about is Best Value. This does not mean cheapest, but price has a significant impact on this. Customer service, speed of delivery, post-sales support ... these are all factors too. But I am not telling members anything new here.
If you are giving a shopping list to a group of suppliers then you need to have a clear process for how you have selected those suppliers in the first place. Depending on what you are spending then you have to be clear how long you expect this group to operate, how you invited suppliers to apply to be in this group, how you consistently supplied your selection process.
The easiest thing to look at is existing frameworks of suppliers. To get onto the framework there has already been a selection process to check on a number of areas of suitability ranging from financial security through to SLAs, etc. You can then mainly use price to sort these out. There are frameworks from LAs, from DfE and from OGC (Buying Solutions) ...
Even if you only use frameworks to get a fixed maximum price, it then allows you to then go into further negotiation with a supplier / reseller or two to bring the price down further. If you get a price for x desktops from a supplier via Buying Solutions, there is nothing to stop you from then going to that company and negotiating further.
If you are going down the root of mini-competition then you do have to be clear and consistent in your approach. Make sure that the process you follow in IT is consistent with that in the rest of the school.
Dutch auctions, where you play companies off against one another to get the lowest price, is a common method if trying to drive down price for equivalent products. Some suppliers will not get involved in it though, and not because they don't want to give you the cheapest price, but because they are trying to keep consistent margins as to drop margins in one area means they have to up it in other areas or shift more stuff ... both of which can cause problems for some companies. The best thing you can do is look for a number of companies who give consistent pricing and who don't try to operate at a loss just to get one off business.
And this is where we come to the ethics bit. Whilst it is the job of us all to get Best Value, if you try to force suppliers to go to a loss-leading offering to get one-off business and then swap to a different supplier to get a loss-leading one-off price you risk companies going under ... and although you are doing right by the school are you doing right to the economy in general? It is a careful balance to get ... but if you are a school that has taken a decision to try and make as much use of local companies to supply services and equipment to the school then driving down the price does come at a cost.
To be honest, the best take on all of this I ever saw was from a BESA event preparing exhibitors for BETT, advising suppliers how to be ethical, give good service and to be careful about managing expectations around price. In fact I think that a procurement 101 could be a good thing to stick together ... possibly for the next conference?
2 Thanks to GrumbleDook:
john (17th July 2011), Roberto (18th July 2011)
16th July 2011, 11:00 PM #15
Procurement Course to buy toners.
Sweet Jesus, Does my time spent doing this count towards the final cost?
Simple. If you are not getting the service you want for the best possible price, with the least amount of hassle......
And do you really think they give a toss about 'doing the right thing' to get your business? - Like many, I'm getting fed up of suppliers using some very underhand tactics to get to me, and the classic 'I sent you an email last week' - or 'I spoke to someone in your office' gets them a mouthful.
This is costing my time and therefore my school money, which to coin a phrase 'affects Teaching and Learning'.
Sorry, toners just don't demand that much of my time. Learners do.
@Dook - Ain't you fell off that fence yet?
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