Nickels and Dimes Add Up

It’s been a little while since I blogged.  I was trying to come up with a topic for this week when our Purchasing Manager told me about what he’s been seeing from vendors.  He went out of his way to say “make sure you mention this in your next blog”.  So here we go…

Some companies seem to have adopted the mindset that since manufacturing activity is improving, it’s now open season on costs.  By that, I mean that they keep inventing new ways to raise costs for their customers.  Apparently some companies think that it’s time to boost margins, and they don’t think their customers will complain because, after all, business is booming in some segments.  Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen the (attempted) return of fuel surcharges and material surcharges.  We’ve had vendors attempt to bill us for inbound freight to their facilities.  We’ve also seen the (attempted) return of things like handling charges, even in cases where freight charges were not billed.  Those that are even more creative are adding “broken box quantity” charges.  And companies that previously did not have minimum order value have instituted them.

Remember when manufacturing was struggling and thought to be on its way out as a viable economic contributor?  Remember how companies trying to survive were so cooperative and accommodating with respect to prices and deliveries?  They didn’t dare include those sorts of silly add-on items on their invoices because they knew that their customers wouldn’t stand for it, and they were lucky to have any customers at all.  How easy those companies forget what customers value when things seem to be going well.  Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

I’m happy to report that these kinds of practices haven’t spread to EXAIR.  We won’t include any mystery add-on charges on your invoice.  And we don’t have a minimum order quantity.

By now, I’m sure that you may have already seen some of this silliness in action.  If not, look out for it, because it will likely show up on some of your invoices soon.  Don’t accept these charges from vendors.  You’ll just be encouraging the behavior.  They should really know better.

And please enjoy this sendup of a Comcast cable bill by an unhappy former subscriber.

Bryan Peters

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