The Real Value of Quality...Mr. Mike Hajek
April 11, 2012 — 1,010 views
The Real Value of Quality…
Now, more than ever, today’s government and education agencies need and deserve the highest quality equipment, products and services. Agencies just can’t afford to settle for purchased solutions that are not built or designed to last. There was a time when low-price or cheap meant savings. Not in today’s world of budget crunches and the need to stretch product durability and overall equipment life cycle. “Low prices” usually mean that something has to be sacrificed. In most cases, “low price” equates to poor quality design, materials and workmanship along with reduced services. These types of low price solutions usually meet minimum expectations that fall short of the needed and desired quality life cycle. We have all been there, and experienced the result of “low bid.” Our hard earned tax dollars need to go farther, buy better and deliver the quality solutions deserving of the agencies that are supported and depending on tax dollars to function.
Nationally leveraged cooperative contracts are positioned to ensure quality expectations and quality purchasing solutions for the customer. The business community has expressed in many ways their frustration of how difficult it can be to do business with government and education agencies because of the required overall procurement process. Part of the savings of a national contract to the business community, is the opportunity to respond to a single national solicitation on behalf of all government and education agencies across the country. In most cases the response is from the manufacturer and the contract is awarded at the manufacturer level. This contract is then leveraged at the local dealer level, in local communities, providing additional benefit by supporting their economy. This process reduces the need for businesses or dealers to respond to numerous individual RFPs across the country, which can be very time-consuming, costly and in many cases result in minimal success for companies that offer high quality solutions. Because of the value and efficiencies of national contracts, the business community is passing the go-to-market efficiencies and savings on to the customer through national contract pricing and expanded services. This process has yielded efficiencies for both sides of the purchase. Government and education agencies are saving valuable staff time by not duplicating the RFP process which in most cases is satisfied by the national contracting process. As national cooperative contracts become an important part of the government and education agency business practices, the business community will continue to experience more savings and will continue to transfer that savings and higher quality solutions back to the customer. These savings result in a lower cost of operation for government and education and a direct savings to the tax payer.
We are now beginning to see a change in the “culture of the sales call.” Contracted vendors will find themselves spending equal time talking about the established contract pathway for customers to purchase their equipment, products and services while highlighting the features and value of their proposed solutions. The benefit, time savings and overall results should allow more time for businesses to demonstrate the overall value of their company, equipment and services, and more time for government and education buyers to listen and understand the real value of quality.
By Mike Hajek
Director of Contracts & Marketing
National Joint Powers Alliance NJPA
Mr. Mike Hajek
National Joint Powers Alliance
Responsibilities as the NJPA Director of Contracts & Marketing have allowed Mike to expand local purchasing concepts to national contract purchasing programs and create potential solutions that can be shared by education and government agencies.