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sharper pricing, better quality, and more value-added services to differentiate themselves
and retain and grow their businesses –– at least in theory. So which of these many alternatives provides the best e-procurement value? And are they
significantly better than more traditional methods? A personal market test of the
alternatives available to small professional services businesses is described in a sidebar to
this article –– and concludes there is some modest value that is available but that a
substantial amount of legwork is still required to achieve it.
While these e-procurement offerings no doubt provide some new “discipline” in pricing
comparable goods and services, they do not directly involve suppliers in bidding for a
customer’s business –– and prices do not typically reflect the volume discounts and other
benefits that can be obtained through establishing ongoing preferred supplier contracts. Put
your company-as-a-supplier hat back on for a minute –– would you post your best prices
for your best high-volume customers on your Internet site? Probably not. Office Supplies Purchasing: A Personal Saga
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- Spring '08