Re: VENDORS DEBATE - MY 10c (Jeanette Skwor) Stephen Clark 01 Jun 1998 12:26 UTC

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 11:56:31 -0500
Subject: Re: VENDORS DEBATE - MY 10c

***I found this post insightful and to the point, and wondering at the
silence from the vendor's quarters . . .

Jeanette Skwor
    who also has been contacted offlist by vendors several times,
    and thusly knows as well, they are reading...

> Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 11:09:40 GMT
> From: Lesley Tweddle <LTWEDDLE@AUCEGYPT.EDU>
> Subject: VENDORS DEBATE - MY 10c
> Earlier this year I posted to the List because the trouble we were
> having with one of our vendors (we use four!) had got bad enough that
> I felt out of my depth.  Quite a few people replied to me, and although
> I didn't name the unsatisfactory vendor, most of them guessed who it
> was and were having troubles of their own.
> The neatest thing that anyone said by way of summing up their discontent
> was, that no-one at management level had contacted them or expressed an
> intent to handle the problem/s.
> Vendors read this list!  Once they noticed that my posting had aroused
> a response, two of our vendors got in touch with me.  One was the UV
> that I was complaining about.  Why had I not complained to the UV, why
> to the List?  I said, who do I complain to?
> This bit matters, fellow-librarians and List-monitoring vendors.  Read
> On!  A normal librarian has no reason to believe her (excuse sexism)
> normal contact-person is malevolent or incompetent.  We know, from our
> own experience of ordering direct, that many suppliers part with their
> publications as if they were losing teeth.  What we suspect is that
> our contact-person is overloaded with tasks and just does not have time
> to chase, and re-chase, and keep letting us know that this is what she
> is doing.  We know that vendors are trying to save costs.  We suspect
> this may be at the expense of just the kind of service that makes us
> appreciate them.
> Or, or Also, we suspect that our poor contact-person doen not have
> good managerial backing.  If she keeps getting messages from us that
> indicate we are more and more fed-up with the problems we're experiencing,
> has she been trained not to keep all this to herself, but to alert a
> management-level person?
> In the case of our UV, once a management-level person (several, actually)
> got involved, we were able to resolve the big problems and are now
> back to our normal contact-person again.  In the case of another vendor
> who was not U, I am worrying that they may become U, precisely because
> the response from our normal contact-person has dwindled over the years,
> from being same-day to being late or never, and (in my opinion)
> management have not realised the seriousness of our concern about a
> particular issue.
> How many (non-Government) libraries automatically go for the vendor which
> offers the cheapest rates?  The kind of staff contact we need, requires
> high staffing levels in the vendor's offices, and those don't come cheap.
> What do the vendors have to say about all this?
> Lesley Tweddle
> Serials Librarian
> American University in Cairo Library