About tenders, tender purchases and the formation of a tender task
It just so happened that, as a technical specialist, I have been working closely with trade for more than 15 years.
But this is understandable - the equipment that they do not want to buy is bad.
For a long time the word “marketing” aroused deep disgust in me, because it was associated with the completely Russian and understandable word “pairing”.
Earlier, I wrote several articles about how marketers manipulate a buyer by imposing unnecessary things on him and describing certain special characteristics that in reality turn out to be nothing outstanding.
But today I would like to talk about something else. About tenders.
In our time, tender purchases have become very popular - this is a mechanism to get something that suits the buyer at the lowest price - because in the overwhelming number of tenders, the main factor determining the winner is precisely the price.
It is understandable: price is a number, it can be compared, unlike some characteristics with which it is not always clear which is better: more, less, redder or purple. We add here the high cost of expert evaluations and the frequent bias of these very experts - we get what we get.
Obviously, in order to force all suppliers to play by the same rules and with the same offers, it is extremely important to correctly formulate a tender task that clearly cuts off all non-conforming ones, leaving only suitable ones - and then price, reductions and so on will come into play.
As practice shows, the buyer very often underestimates the importance of the correct tender assignment, relying on the seller’s understanding - and the saddest thing: on his decency.
Capital ... avoids noise and abuse and is distinguished by a fearful nature. It is true, but that is not the whole truth. Capital is afraid of lack of profit or profit too small, just as nature is afraid of emptiness. But once sufficient profits are available, capital becomes bold. Provide 10%, and the capital agrees to any use, at 20% it becomes lively, at 50% it is positively ready to break its head, at 100% it violates all human laws, with 300% there is no crime that it would not risk, at least under pain of the gallows. If noise and abuse bring profit, capital will contribute to both. Evidence: smuggling and trafficking in slaves.Alas, after more than 150 years, these words are relevant. Who does not believe - I recommend that you go to any open area, dear readers from Ukraine, you can go to Prozorro - with careful consideration, it is very easy to find a lot of purchases that go completely contrary to what the buyer would like.
- Dunning TJ Trade's Unions and Strikes: Their Philosophy and Intention. - London: Published by the author, and Sold by M. Harley, No 5, Raquet court, Fleet street, EC 1860. - P. 35-36. - 52 p. (cited by K. Marx, “Capital,” chap. 24 note at the end of clause 6. K. Marx and F. Engels. Works. - 2nd ed. - T. 23. - P. 770.
I would like to write very few simple tips for the buyer on the formation of a tender - not even that: a technical task for the purchase, which will allow you to really get what you would like. And forgive me, my employer and all the marketers in the world.
- Do not try to understand the equipment or systems - let the supplier understand your task!
Unfortunately, the reality (or our mentality?) Is that we are all afraid to seem stupid. And we are following marketing experts, studying brochures, trying to understand new-fangled technologies or features, tying them to your needs.
Any supplier should have experienced technical specialists (whom I, for example, am - I can confirm) who are required to read your Wishlist and offer the technology that can solve it in full. Are there no such specialists? And why do you need such a supplier?
You do not have to know engine volumes, spectral ranges and compilation keys - you want to travel from point A to point B in such a time so many times a week, measure such-and-such substance with such content in such a matrix, or perform such actions on such computer systems. What to offer - let the supplier decide. He does not understand - let him ask a question. Do not shoulder the work of other techies.
- Always describe the configuration requirements as detailed as possible! “Car” does not always mean a real car - it can be plastic, or it can be without wheels.
The illustration at the beginning of this article is no coincidence. We all perfectly understand that when the main criterion for choosing a winner is price, it is necessary to offer the most shrunken set that minimally meets the requirements of the tender. No one will give more. No one will pay out of pocket.
- Pay attention to the service, launch, methodological support!
Even a wonderful device tends to break. Even the simplest systems require mastering and often training. Yes, you have the smartest and best employees in the world, but even the smartest people learn something new longer than with proper training, and most likely they will not learn 100%.
By the way, who will pay for this extra training time?
- Good service does not arise in a year or two!
Service is always an expense in the initial stage: people need to be trained, people should get their own experience, because right after the courses a specialist never becomes a real specialist.
And it is clear that in order to gain experience you need to have sales - if the seller has not installed a single system, then what should the service use?
It comes to the ridiculous: I saw a lot of service engineer certificates received last month (a person got a job two months ago), upon closer inspection, these certificates turned out to be something like “Training course for rookie” or “beginners”. Do you want to become a training ground for such "beginners"?
Yes, and do not forget that a foreign service is interested in you exactly during the warranty period (and even then not always). Then their arrival will be very expensive: you are not the main country on their list, and the cost of their work is calculated in foreign currency per hour, and not in rubles.
Demand the availability of services in your country, require certificates, verify them - and finally require at least 5 years of experience with the supplied system.
- Pay attention to the list of users and their contacts - let users talk about equipment, not sellers!
It's no secret that every frog praises its swamp. Same thing with sellers. What do previous customers think of them? You have the right to ask, and do not stop talking about commercial secrets - you are not interested in contractual relationships or price. Not a single seller will hide his luck - and if he does, then there was no luck.
By the way, very often the list of users turned out to be fictitious - do not hesitate to call the indicated numbers, get acquainted, ask.
Very often, all the "best systems in the world" are either not launched by anyone, or they don’t complete the task, and sometimes they exist only in the supplier’s fantasies.
- Check the cost of operation! Often, a cheap device doubles its cost over a year of operation.
Alas - but this is how business works: someone earns on starting cost, and someone earns on consumables. Motorists here will not let you lie.
- Coordinate the payment scheme in such a way as to finally pay off when everything is already running, adjusted and verified.
The seller is easiest to find when you owe him something. It's not a secret. Some supplier companies have the peculiarity of disappearing immediately after receiving the entire payment. Yes, such companies rarely have a service, a list of users, and so on, but even with all other advantages, remember: friendship is friendship ...
Make sure that the supplier receives the full amount in full only after the correct commissioning, training of your specialists and confirming full compliance with your task (see above) - this is a very correct move!
- Unfortunately, the reality is that of the three categories of "fast, high quality, cheap" when buying, you can choose only two. REMEMBER THIS!
I would always be alarmed if something was offered at an extremely low price compared to competitors who stayed in about the same price category - most likely the supplier either does not understand what it is delivering, or it is delivering something completely wrong, or is it b / y, refurbished and other rubbish.
- Feel free to check the manufacturer's authorizations, supplier certificates and other supporting documents.
Any tender documentation includes relatively formal documents: criminal records, absence of bankruptcy, etc. - and more highly specialized documents that indicate dealer authorization, customer reviews, service certificates already mentioned, etc.
First, always require an official translation. Yes, Google rules, but I would trust the official translation from some other language than my own (or Google) linguistic knowledge, if it comes to my money.
Secondly - check. Forgery of certificates from the tax office and the Department of Internal Affairs is a crime. With this, few are at risk. Yes, I know that the falsification of any documents at the state auction is also, but who will check the foreign certificates and authorization letters? For example, the already mentioned Ukraine has introduced an electronic bidding system, but has not yet introduced a document authenticity control system. I met certificates with a blurry seal - they found it in google pictures and did not even try to look in the best resolution, certificates with a rudely wiped and corrected name and other funny fakes. It is impossible to attract a participant for this in practice - he will always refer to a failure in downloading a document, to substitution on the server for anything, and the examination is quite time-consuming.
Demand paper. Require official wet stamps and signatures. Require that documents come from the manufacturer to your address. Feel free - demand! And in an extreme case, write to the organizations that issued the certificate or authorization - let them confirm their own document.
Yes, my advice turned out to be quite lengthy, but I think that if you follow it, you will be able to avoid both a headache in the procurement process and problems after them.
I wish you all successful shopping and reliable partners!