How much is too much?

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As noted in my previous blog, I work in the pharmaceutical industry (no animals). One thing that came to my attention recently, besides the controversy about some pharma companies increasing the prices of their medicines to extortionate amounts, was how much companies get charged by ‘specialist’ company suppliers for things.

You know the kind of thing I mean. Normal householders go to Amazon, eBay, Tesco, Asda/Walmart. Businesses go to ‘preferred suppliers’. Whereby, as per my examples below, things like coffee suddenly become much more expensive. Why? I have no clue.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cappuccino 16 Capsules – Pack of 3 (Total 48 Capsules, 24 Servings)
@ Amazon.co.uk = £13.50 + free delivery

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cappuccino & Creamer Capsules – 8 Pack (16 Capsules) x 3 @ viking-direct.co.uk = £4.49 x 3 = £14.97 + delivery

Nescafe Cappuccino for Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machine Ref 12019905 – Packed 48 @ ukofficedirect.co.uk = £16.99 + delivery

 It’s not like they are providing any additional service over and above the likes of Amazon or eBay. In fact, with the advent of Amazon Prime, you can now get quite a lot of stuff on next day delivery through them. I know. I use it myself. Even delivered Saturdays and Sundays too! Very useful when you are at work during the week.

I recall some time ago when our manager told us in celebratory style how he managed to get a discount on some mops he had purchased for us. When we asked him how much they where he replied “120 pounds, but the full price should have been 170”. We all (non-managers) looked at each other and in unison went something like “How much? Are they gold plated?”. The funny part was that the mops have like a universal joint (metal flat head type mops) that was so stiff the mop was unusable anyway. And this wasn’t the reason we got a discount!!

Because businesses seem to mostly operate on a preferred supplier basis, it seems that once you have them on the list, so to speak, they can charge you what the hell they want for stuff. If businesses became a bit more business-like they could save themselves a small fortune. Some businesses, by their very nature cannot use anything other than a preferred or approved supplier.  The business I work for is such and therefore at the mercy of the suppliers that are lucky enough to get on the list. I’m not sure if Amazon could qualify as a preferred supplier? Or eBay. Probably most likely not.

At this time, when businesses seek to streamline their operations and make things more efficient it seems that there are other businesses out there seeking to destroy the very businesses that they rely on by taking advantage of a position afforded to them. It is also in a company’s interest to ensure that they are operating as efficiently and economical as possible and make sure that contracts (should any exist for suppliers, including suppliers) are reviewed regularly. I once saved a company I worked for a small fortune in photocopying costs because nobody had reviewed the existing contracts for years.

Well, if you got this far – thankyou for reading.

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