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Outsourcing of purchases  

Senior Member

I am just wondering whether any other suppliers are having issues with resellers purchasing on behalf of a government organisation.

We have had a small handful of orders recently that have been placed incorrectly, in the past we would have just gone back to the agency and clarified it with them and it would all be resolved on the same day. Going via resellers this typically takes about a week.

However for the latest PO there was a telephone number on the order which we called thinking it was the reseller, it turned out that this was yet another outsourcing company. After chatting to them we found out that the agency outsources to company A who then outsource to company B who then contact us. This order was quoted in September!!!

I assume that each reseller will add their margin to the order.

How do these delays and additional costs benefit the government?

Posted : 12/11/2015 4:26 pm
Active Member

Yes, its the bane of our lives!
Every now and again we get some tw*t who decides they need 3 quotes for something that is only sold by one company or tell us to go though the preferred supplier.
Unfortunately this is becoming more and more frequent. Next time you get one like that where the reseller contacts you, just give them a ridiculous quote so we can say we are saving money by going direct )
Edit Sorry we are government department, not supplier.

Posted : 12/11/2015 4:41 pm
Junior Member

Good old procurement laws.

These frameworks are generally good for the gov organisation as a whole, but fall down woefully for specialist kit.

To avoid the 3 quotes scenario, you go through a prefered supplier. On the whole, this represents real benefits. When you are buying 3000 laptops, all the same, with a lifecyclel refresh programe etc, etc. Margins are contracted to be extremely small.

Problem is, when you want to buy a writeblocker for example, these arent available for the prefered supplier, so they procure it from one of their partner frameworks, who purchase it from you.

The margin is now at least 10 - 15 % and the delivery time increases by several hundred percent.

You can have local agreements that work around this, but the department has to have the appetite to fight with their procurement guys. Generally it can be argued that specialist kit is often required to support an ad hoc operational requirement, and that delays pose an unacceptable risk etc.

Posted : 13/11/2015 9:39 pm