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Supplier goes Rogue

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Centro Graphics, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Centro Graphics

    Centro Graphics Member

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    Afternoon all.

    Have lil situation here wondered you guys might do.

    We have been using a direct to substrate trade printer for over a year on a job for a national retailer here in the UK, not big money profits but work and decent work. There have been no issues with the job over this period and all seemingly ok.

    As it turned out it was easier for us to let out client pick the signs up straight from our (trade) supplier as they are quite large and would need a big van to deliver to us. The client was based quite close to the supplier so went and picked them up, great every ones happy.

    Two weeks ago I find out the client has done a deal with the (trade) supplier (yes my client) to supply the signs direct, effectively cutting me out.

    Now, if the customer made an approach to the supplier surely he would rebuff the advance and divert the cleint back to me right? WRONG

    They seem to have had a nice little chat and came up with a deal together.

    I called the supplier and asked wtf are you playing at and he claims that there was no intention of malice or cutting us out, it wasn't like that (stealing my customer). Well I think, what ever way he puts it stealing it is indeed.

    Within this deal they have struck up, my client has offered to pay half for a new laminator he needed to do the job.

    Now I still owe him some money but I said you have got no chance now, as he will stand to make 1000's out of my client and has a least a years worth of work out of it, if not more.

    My client is not the easiest fella to deal with but has now gone a bit quiet.

    I have sent a letter to the trade supplier but he doesn't care now and wants to get his money, although he has offered a small credit off the outstanding balance.

    What would you do

    Thanks
     
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  2. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

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    Id pay them and not use them anymore.
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    That's a tough one.

    First question would be..... do you use this trade supplier for any other jobs ??

    Second question...... are there other things you provide to this customer that your supplier doesn't handle ??

    Regardless of the answer, your customer is lost, but maybe you can salvage the rest of your customers needing this suppliers wares.

    Next major question would be..... why did you ever let your customer come in contact with your vendor ?? It's a dog eat dog world out there and you practically gave this customer away. You said it yourself.... the other guy produces and the other guy picks it up and all due to convenience and money. Duhhhh... ?? What would you expect ?? Any customer knowing they are paying a middleman extra money, just to coordinate.... he'd be foolish not to set something up. Malice ?? There's never malice involved. It's all about the bottom line. You aren't needed in this transaction and you just put the whole package together and handed it over.

    You're a nice guy and you know what they say about nice guys............:doh:
     
  4. Centro Graphics

    Centro Graphics Member

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    Thanks for the replies fellas.

    Part of me (the moral bit) says I should pay as what I owe for the job was fine.

    The other part says b**ll*cks its almost like a finders fee, he will literally make thousands out of this and get a nice new machine.

    he has been a trade supplier for over 20 years.

    It is a dog eat dog world Gino yeah but if your wife happened to meet your friend at the coffee shop you wouldnt expect your mate to take her to a hotel and have his way with her.

    I can expect a client to try his arm and get a better price, hell I would do it myself but I would of expected a call from the (trade) supplier to say hey your client is sniffing around what do want to do.

    Gino hho told you am a nice guy :help grrrrr


    Not much else from this client no, I dont use the supplier for anything else either, although one expo job in the summer.

    He would never of gotten this deal if it wasnt for me, so I feel that has value and more value than the £1500 I owe him

    Fridays are supposed to a happy day,
     
  5. strypguy

    strypguy Active Member

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    Exactly why I never drop ship or leave any evidence of my suppliers that my customers can get there hands on. It's happened to me a few times in the past.
    When I do installs at customer locations I remove all shipping labels etc. You wouldn't believe how many times I've caught someone sniffing around my stuff probably trying to get info on my products or suppliers.

    Unfortunately you can't do much about it.

    John
     
  6. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

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    The value here is in your lesson learned. Its business. did what your supplier do lack common ethics, yes. Does that release you from your obligation to pay him, no. ****ty situation, but not much you can do except resolve to not use the supplier anymore.
     
  7. thewood

    thewood Very Active Member

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    This. Pay your bill, and move on.
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Regardless of how unethical your vendors and customers are..... does that mean you can also stoop to their level and justify things that aren't really there ??

    If so, don't pay him, but in the business world that would be totally more wrong than what they did. It was business. Shady, but still accepted. Not paying a bill is just wrong.

    As for my wife meeting a friend and running off....... ?? Ha, fat chance. I know the deals I make and that one is a did-done-closed deal. It's been sealed with a kiss. Did you kiss your supplier or customer to close the deal ?? Ah-ha..... that could be your downfall. Possibly try this technique and let us know if it works.....:tongue: ya never know.......... :peace!:

    Now, does that make your Friday and brighter or happier ?? If not........ :bushmill:


    Told ya you were a nice guy..............
     
  9. Pro Image

    Pro Image Major Contributor

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    Pay him or not....That is none of my concern.......

    You gave the lead to your customer and he took it.....Why in the world you would do that is beyond me but live and learn and DO NOT DO IT AGAIN.....!!!

    LOL....
     
  10. Centro Graphics

    Centro Graphics Member

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    UCM yeah your probably right.

    I have been in business for 15 years I should of known better, too bloody trusting. It has never happened before though.

    John. Yeah I do always take packaging off and labels anything that be of interest to a customer.

    The client and I also have a mutual friend which kinda makes it worse.

    Gino, I was chuckling here when I read your last post. Yeah it has helped thanks . AS for the bottle, well I went out last night to my local pub and had a few Guinness. This morning I wish I hadnt, getting to old for it I think.

    Yeah you are right I guess, stooping to their level, my moral upbringing is telling me the same.

    Just for the record I didnt kiss the supplier or have any desire too, he's any ugly F****r :omg: and doesnt wear a dress (at least I don't think he wears one) :ROFLMAO:

    Steve
     
  11. FireSprint

    FireSprint Very Active Member

    Lmao Gino.
    --
    We're a trade only supplier so we're on the other side of this equation. From time to time a trade client of ours wants to have their customer pick up directly from us. I try to avoid this the best we can. We'll generally offer to deliver to their customer for a small fee and use a third party courier just to take ourselves out of it.

    Even though we're trade only, it's not impossible to buy from us. Once a large volume end user finds out who we are, they could hypothetically find a local sign shop (maybe one where they are close to the owner) and give them a small "commission" to route the order through back to us. We might not have any idea who is actually end using the product, we just know we're working with a member of the trade.

    I realize this isn't exactly what happened to you, but it helps explain how tricky this kind of relationship can be. We respect and greatly appreciate our relationships with the legitimate trade resellers we work with. It's better for everyone if they keep us a secret at all costs.

    If I were you I would pay the vendor and learn from this, without making an enemy. You never know what might come of this in the future.
     
  12. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

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    I agree, once you get over the anger you need to pay him. This will always happen when a customer finds someone to go direct with. It is a sad mistake, but most of us would do the same thing if we were the customer. As far as your supplier, that is not ethical. Get over it and lesson well learned.
     
  13. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

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    Pay them, move on, mistakes cost money and you made one.
     
  14. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    dont pay them until they call you,, then you can drop a few cuzz words in their ear about business ethics. then pay them..
     
  15. Centro Graphics

    Centro Graphics Member

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    Thanks for all your feedback fellas. I paid them off, it could of gotten messy, I have not the patience for a drawn out argument.

    I have moved on and learnt a lesson.

    :thankyou:
     
  16. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

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    I am in the UK.
    You will end up in court and blacklisted if you do not pay the supplier or the guy that made the job for you.
    Chalk it up to experience and never let the two meet or have any contact with each other.
    You should have got the materials delivered to you and then delivered them to him.
    Then the only way for him to put a cheaper quote in than you was to do some searching for who the job was for.
    Yes it is pretty underhanded but that's business full stop.

    Show me a businees man and I'll show you a cheat and a liar.

    SC
     
  17. Typestries

    Typestries Very Active Member

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    As a trade printer, we're on the other side as well. I feel compelled to reply, because this very scenario reared it's ugly head last week. Our client sent us files, but due to the storm, and internet and power outages, we didn't receive them, then we couldn't get our client on the phone or email, because they were down for 2 weeks. Last monday, our client calls in a panic, looking for job. I explained our multiple attempts to contact them (even after having my own, and 3 staffers homes flooded) to get it going. So, Tuesday we finally get the files we need and get going on a very large, time sensitive retail display job. We put on a few evening shifts to get done what's needed for Friday.

    Thursday PM, my client's client shows up for a pick up. Awkward. Being a businessman, he immediately asks me to sell direct. As I always have, I informed him that I choose to operate on the principles of good business ethics and long term relationships, and that while I appreciated his offer of more orders, I also have a long standing relationship with the company he is buying from.

    Did I leave money on the table? I sure did. And this is not the first time this has happened. But, I can sleep well at night.

    Bottom line, we are your partner, not your competitor. We won't backdoor you. We won't sell online en masse for 10% more than wholesale (or less), and we won't try to deceive you. And finally, when your client tries their best to circumvent you, we'll let you know and flat out refuse it.

    That's how we roll. Thanks for your business!
     
  18. Centro Graphics

    Centro Graphics Member

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Heyskull

    Yeah we are UK too.

    Typestries

    Thats exactly how I work, I have been in a few situations my self when someone we are working for asks us to work direct, no can do.

    I was in Italy last year doing graphics at an exhibition for a client and so happens a guy I know (in production of graphics) had his client stand a few doors down, they asked us to do work for them in future, I said not possible as you are xyz client and I have known xyz for years so cant do, sorry

    I would totally expect this guy to be the same, he' isnt short of workl so its not that he was desperate.

    In fact this supplier, if I said one website, all of you would say REALLY? and would be able to relate this guy, even though in the UK. But I wont.

    Steve
     
  19. Matt-Tastic

    Matt-Tastic Member

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    Sounds like you did what I would have. Cut out the relationship, and put all the energy into building up your other customers to recoup the work you lost.

    And remember this so you don't do it again! :)

    good luck!
     
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