Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Common Vendor Mistakes in Library Contract Talks

Elaine Billingslea Dockens Dockens, Director of Library Services, Tressler Soderstrom Maloney & Priess, LLP in Chicago, has published an article on LLRX.com entitled Vendor Pitfalls in Negotiating Large Multi-Year Contracts - or How to Lose a Million Dollar Contract.

It analyses the kinds of negative database and product vendor behaviours that discourage libraries from doing business with their firms:
"This article is dedicated to the many professional vendor representatives (VRs) that I've worked with over the years. These are the reps who showed up prepared to do business each time they visited. During contract negotiations they honored themselves, the companies they represented and me by "bringing their A game" and being totally prepared to fully negotiate."

"Many of the products they represent are sold by multi-year contracts and are negotiated at annual intervals. During negotiations my goal is to control expenses and look for discounts (and still keep a quality product). The goal of the VRs include obtaining or retaining our business and making a reasonable profit. When we both - firm and vendor - come to the table prepared to get the very best deal for our side, then everybody wins. However, if one of the parties arrives at the table ill prepared - we both lose. The vendor will probably lose the business they could have obtained or retained and the firm loses the chance to seriously consider the vendor in comparison to other vendors."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:25 pm

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