Organizations always want “the most bang for the buck” to maximize available dollars for a particular item and/or project. So, they solicit bids. This seems like a responsible way to prove to the financial stakeholders that their interests are being well served. But is this really true?
If you build a home, do you solicit bids and then simply award the work to the lowest bidder? It may seem like a good idea in the short term, but what about a few years from now? To keep bids low;
- Did they cut corners to complete the job?
- Are they new to the business and trying to establish a name for themselves?
- Do they have a work crew they are just trying to keep busy so they don’t go to work elsewhere?
- Are they not in tune with the market enough to really understand what it takes to do the job right?
- Or is the low bidder happy to take your money today and not worry about problems later?
Of course we don’t want to overpay and award work to the highest bidder, so what do we really want? Aren't we really looking for the best value for our dollar giving us the lowest long term cost of ownership? This means the work is done to a quality standard so that repairs are down the road and the functionality is well above average. But how do we determine the best value and lowest long term cost of ownership?
- First, look at experience. One can logically conclude that if we had a positive or negative experience with something then that pattern will repeat itself
- Problems often come with measurements and budgets
- How can a product cost 10% more, last 20% longer and still be a competitively priced and cost justified?
- Budgets don’t factor longevity of a product/project. Spend today and let someone else deal with the problems of tomorrow including replacing something in a couple years
How does this apply to IMS? Let’s take mobile computing carts as an example. If the purchase of mobile computing carts goes out for bid, often the cart with the lowest purchase price is selected. In a true market economy, this translates to lower quality. Nevermind the so-called intangible or soft dollar components that add value to the device and tangibly increase the life span along with improving the end user’s experience.
Innovative Medical Systems has always intended to bring the most long term value to customers. For mobile computing carts/WOWs/workstations on wheels, this means IMS has always provided:
- High quality products – selected to be among the best in class
- Pre-sales assistance defining the best product and accessories for the situation
- On-site demonstrations and an evaluation period to ensure the solution fits – “try before you buy”
- Product delivery ownership, coordination and communication
- Initial hardware & peripheral integration when needed for larger deployments to preserve internal resources
- Preventative maintenance plans designed to proactively avoid trouble rather than reacting to it so devices are available
- Break-fix service both on-site and remote with unlimited business hour phone support
- Accessory add-ons and modifications to keep the WOWs current with other components of the workflow
Additionally, management software is available to proactively identify potential problems, troubleshoot remotely, and accurately understand usage to identify under and over-utilized assets to replace items when they actually need it rather than based only on age. In other words, a tool to provide objective data to maximize the usefulness of the fleet.
The low bid product looks good for the current budget but is it really the best decision for the long term?