Zero Value On Service (But They Want It)

This post strays off the path of drums and music but certainly deals with the life side of my blog.

Sometimes very simple statements or events give you an insight into what is going on with people.

In my other life, the exciting world of distribution, we have a customer who over the years has periodically complained about the same item.

They will use and install this item from the same lot for months with no issues.  Then out of nowhere the item is suddenly defective and have installation problems.

We have spent countless time and resources, both ours and the manufacturer of the item, studying and diagnosing the issue.  And every time it has been determined that it’s not the item that is defective.  The problem is with their installation equipment or they are using the wrong part for the application.

After the last incident and many hours spent once again proving that it was not an issue with the item the buyer for the customer informed us that he had found the same item from another supplier at a cheaper price.  This goes to prove that the customer places zero value on the service we provided over and above procuring and delivering the item to their production lines.

Well it turns out he was shopping the product overseas and then comparing that price to the price of the superior part which was manufactured in the USA.

When the buyer’s manager discovered what he was doing he immediately put a stop to that activity, knowing full well the problems and lack of support that would come with the overseas product.

But the real defining moment for me was when our rep advised our management of what the buyer had done.

The response was “Oh, he’s just doing his job.”

So screwing us is the buyer’s job!  And that’s how the management see’s this business.  Now I understand why they allow certain buyers to treat our reps with a lack of respect and a lack of just outright common courtesy.  Because, it’s just their jobs to be a dick.

It also gave me an insight into how the management feels about the employees, as being less than they are.  You take the abuse and be glad you have a job. Believe me if the buyer were to treat the management with such a lack of respect and common courtesy they would immediately be on the phone complaining to the buyer’s supervisor.

It also shows me a touch of desperation on their part as well.  Don’t call the customer on this practice.  If this buyer would not of had a stand up boss they probably would have used that pricing to brow beat us into lowering our price even though it was based on erroneous data.

The largest customer in the company’s history was gained when we initially told them we weren’t interest in their business and walked away.  Within a matter of weeks they were coming to us to quote based on the business model that was most profitable for this company.

It’s little pieces of life like that, if you’re paying attention, that can tear a gigantic hole in the curtain that is blocking your insight into your surroundings.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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