如何與商家 (Vendors) 打交道
Competitive Evaluations <ul><li>You decide when and by how much your library resources will improve, so try to keep an ope...
RFPs <ul><li>Give vendors enough time to respond to RFPs (30 days should be allowed for a detailed RFP) </li></ul><ul><li>...
New Relationships with Sales Representatives  <ul><li>Try to fight the “Halo Effect” with new sales representatives </li><...
Planning & Scheduling Sales Presentations <ul><li>Set Guidelines for the Vendor, e.g.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You will ha...
Big Picture Questions to Ask Vendors <ul><li>What is your company’s D&B credit rating? </li></ul><ul><li>In the last 3 yea...
What Vendors Don’t Want You to Know <ul><li>Incumbents don’t want you to know that competition is good for you , e.g.: </l...
What Vendors Don’t Want You to Know <ul><li>Higher priced vendors may make generalizations about their products vs. the co...
Library Listservs <ul><li>No other industry tool offers buyers so much leverage </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians can do real d...
Vendor Listservs <ul><li>Some vendor listservs provide a reasonable number of valuable, informative messages </li></ul><ul...
Pricing/Negotiations <ul><li>For subscription-based products, ask for multi-year pricing (and get it in writing) </li></ul...
Service <ul><li>What are the vendor’s hours for Customer Service/Technical Support? </li></ul><ul><li>When you speak on th...
Dealing with Vendors at Conferences <ul><li>Many vendors have product information breakfasts or luncheons </li></ul><ul><u...
Dealing with Vendors at Conferences <ul><li>Conferences are an excellent opportunity to see the ‘latest and greatest’ from...
If You Don’t Buy a Product… <ul><li>If you decide NOT to buy a product after an evaluation, tell the vendor the reason(s) ...
Advisory Boards <ul><li>Many vendors have these, including EBSCO, OCLC, Blackwell Publishing, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Some ...
Advisory Boards <ul><li>Board members generally meet in person once or twice a year, but most communication is done via a ...
Why Should Librarians Provide Product Enhancement Ideas to Vendors?
Providing Product Enhancement Ideas to Vendors <ul><li>Libraries can provide better service to their end users if vendors ...
Partnerships with Vendors <ul><li>Vendors are sometimes looking for partnerships with libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Examples...
Miscellaneous Issues  <ul><li>Dealing with vendors through consortia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Substantial customization may s...
Summary of Key Points <ul><li>Competition is good for you – encourage it </li></ul><ul><li>You can affect vendor behavior ...
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Some Vendors Have Multiple Boards Textile

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Some Vendors Have Multiple Boards Textile

  1. 1. 如何與商家 (Vendors) 打交道
  2. 2. Competitive Evaluations <ul><li>You decide when and by how much your library resources will improve, so try to keep an open mind about new products </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage vendors to create comparisons for you (if they want to earn your business) and discard the results if they aren’t credible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick accuracy checks may be done using data from company websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If two vendors have conflicting reports, share the conflict with each and ask for an explanation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendors that provide inaccurate reports should be viewed with skepticism for future comparisons </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. RFPs <ul><li>Give vendors enough time to respond to RFPs (30 days should be allowed for a detailed RFP) </li></ul><ul><li>If you create bid specifications specifically for one vendor, don’t be surprised if other vendors respond with a “NO BID” </li></ul><ul><li>Allow face to face presentations to allow vendors to highlight the most important features of their product(s) and to answer any questions regarding their bid response </li></ul>
  4. 4. New Relationships with Sales Representatives <ul><li>Try to fight the “Halo Effect” with new sales representatives </li></ul><ul><li>Try to be forgiving if a sales rep says, “I don't know, but I know who does and I will get back to you.” </li></ul><ul><li>Create a list of questions beforehand and make sure that they are answered either in the meeting or after the presentation via email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If follow up is poor, let them know that you aren’t happy </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Planning & Scheduling Sales Presentations <ul><li>Set Guidelines for the Vendor, e.g.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You will have 90 minutes, including presentation, demonstration, and Q&A” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If your product is intended to replace any of the library’s existing resources, please focus on what we would gain and what we would lose (to avoid wasting our time)” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prepare the Library for the presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alert all of those who may have interest in attending </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirm the equipment needs with the vendor before the meeting </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Big Picture Questions to Ask Vendors <ul><li>What is your company’s D&B credit rating? </li></ul><ul><li>In the last 3 years, has your company had any major layoffs? (e.g. 50 or more employees) </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the top executives of your firm and how long has each been with the company? </li></ul><ul><li>If we purchased your product(s), which of our existing products would you suggest we cancel in order to afford it? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the unique features of your product? </li></ul>
  7. 7. What Vendors Don’t Want You to Know <ul><li>Incumbents don’t want you to know that competition is good for you , e.g.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You might not buy Elsevier’s Scopus, but you may be able to use it to lower the price of ISI’s Web of Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Products without competition are often allowed to degenerate, because the vendor is not concerned about quality comparisons when there is NO competitor to compare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So, it is possible that a new product can be superior to an established one </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower priced vendors often want the conversation to focus on the price instead of quality – ask them what you will be losing (and also ask the incumbent) </li></ul>
  8. 8. What Vendors Don’t Want You to Know <ul><li>Higher priced vendors may make generalizations about their products vs. the competition – require them to prove their superiority with facts rather than scare tactics </li></ul><ul><li>Profit Margins…if the vendor owns the content, they have a higher margin (and greater price flexibility) than an intermediary </li></ul><ul><li>Vendors headed in the wrong direction will want to avoid discussions about major layoffs, management team turmoil, poor credit ratings, etc. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Library Listservs <ul><li>No other industry tool offers buyers so much leverage </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians can do real damage to a vendor’s reputation/ sales efforts by writing an email to a library listserv </li></ul><ul><li>It is probably wise/fair to first exhaust all reasonable options with the vendor before turning to a public “attack” </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the threat of a listserv message can cause an unreasonable vendor to back down </li></ul><ul><li>However, if there are no options left, a public complaint via a library listserv can be a powerful tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many vendors have decided to change policies based on pressure from library listservs </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Vendor Listservs <ul><li>Some vendor listservs provide a reasonable number of valuable, informative messages </li></ul><ul><li>Library customers can affect vendor behavior by threatening to unsubscribe if the messages are too frequent or too much like SPAM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendors want their customers to receive their communications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subscribe to your vendor listservs; you will likely find that the messages are more useful and less frequent than in the past </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many vendors have learned from past mistakes in this area </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Pricing/Negotiations <ul><li>For subscription-based products, ask for multi-year pricing (and get it in writing) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is reasonable to ask for 3 year pricing for many subscription-based products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a vendor is unwilling to do this, ask if there can be a cap on price increases (e.g. 5%) before you agree to buy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Give the incumbent vendor a chance match a lower price from a competitor (unless you prefer the lower priced product) </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of the “Big Deal,” because it is very hard to later “unbundle” that package (if necessary due to financial limitations) </li></ul><ul><li>However, if you are buying from a number of different products from multiple vendors, there may be real advantages to consolidating those purchases through one vendor </li></ul>
  12. 12. Service <ul><li>What are the vendor’s hours for Customer Service/Technical Support? </li></ul><ul><li>When you speak on the phone with someone in service, ask them where they are located </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of software customization is available? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Can I tell you what I want changed and have you make the changes for me?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Downtime </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What measures have been taken to ensure full redundancy?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What recourse do we have in the event that your system goes down?” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Dealing with Vendors at Conferences <ul><li>Many vendors have product information breakfasts or luncheons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inquire beforehand to make sure you receive an invitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These events require a lot of planning and are often by invitation-only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are involved in the evaluation of the product, most vendors will be pleased to have you attend </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conferences provide an opportunity to meet with various experts within a company </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These experts usually have busy schedules, so be sure to reserve time in advance </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Dealing with Vendors at Conferences <ul><li>Conferences are an excellent opportunity to see the ‘latest and greatest’ from your current vendor(s) and their competition </li></ul><ul><li>The sales person you encounter in the booth may not be the most informed person to learn from, so if you are truly interested, schedule an appointment beforehand to ensure you receive the best possible information </li></ul>
  15. 15. If You Don’t Buy a Product… <ul><li>If you decide NOT to buy a product after an evaluation, tell the vendor the reason(s) why </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This honesty will be appreciated by most vendors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This will allow responsive vendors to make improvements to their products which will give you more options in the future (competition is good for you!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This puts pressure on the incumbent vendors to continue to improve their products even though they have “won” in the short-term </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Encourage the “losing” vendor(s) to keep improving and try again next year </li></ul><ul><li>Tell the “winning” vendor what you liked better about their competition, so they have an opportunity to make your ‘product of choice’ more complete </li></ul>
  16. 16. Advisory Boards <ul><li>Many vendors have these, including EBSCO, OCLC, Blackwell Publishing, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Some vendors have multiple boards; for example, EBSCO has the following advisory boards: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic – Communication/Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business School – GLBT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Library – Sociology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hospital Library – Textiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>K-12 School – Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Board members are usually unpaid in order to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Board members are usually required to sign confidentiality agreements </li></ul>
  17. 17. Advisory Boards <ul><li>Board members generally meet in person once or twice a year, but most communication is done via a confidential listserv </li></ul><ul><li>Some companies also have “Email Councils,” which are a forum for feedback from customers who aren’t in a position to participate in a formal board </li></ul><ul><li>Email councils are less encompassing in terms of the amount of involvement required and members may only be asked a few questions each year </li></ul><ul><li>Beta testing is generally made available to board members and email council participants, as well as to those who request to be involved </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beta testers should expect to see “bugs”during the Beta period </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Why Should Librarians Provide Product Enhancement Ideas to Vendors?
  19. 19. Providing Product Enhancement Ideas to Vendors <ul><li>Libraries can provide better service to their end users if vendors can better equip the libraries to do so </li></ul><ul><li>Join the company’s listserv and respond to the moderator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He/she will usually forward the feedback to the appropriate managers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good sales representatives encourage feedback from their customers and their voices carry weight within companies (because smart companies listen carefully to those employees who deal directly with the market) </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback can be provided through the customer support websites of a number of vendors </li></ul>
  20. 20. Partnerships with Vendors <ul><li>Vendors are sometimes looking for partnerships with libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Examples include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation of content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thesauri </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specialized A&I </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Borrowing parts of the libraries collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PDF backfiles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A&I backfiles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A vendor will usually make it worthwhile for the library to cooperate </li></ul>
  21. 21. Miscellaneous Issues <ul><li>Dealing with vendors through consortia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Substantial customization may still be available – ask </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-site training may still be available – ask </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For-profit vs. non-profit </li></ul><ul><li>Public vs. private </li></ul>
  22. 22. Summary of Key Points <ul><li>Competition is good for you – encourage it </li></ul><ul><li>You can affect vendor behavior – you just need to use your leverage (and get involved) </li></ul><ul><li>It’s in your interest to provide feedback to vendors – find those vendors who will actually listen and respond </li></ul>

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