When Cheap is Truly Good

Posted: April 21, 2008 in Business Advice, customers, Technology

I would agree with the sentiment behind ‘you get what you pay for’. But once in a while an exception to the rule rolls along:

i was called in to advise the owners of a start up company recently. Their IT project was going awry and they wanted my opinion on what to do about it – normal enough sort of request I get too frequently. The answer however was not the normal ‘You tried to cut corners…..get what you pay for’ one.

In this case the client had done the inital requirements steps well, and accepted a fairly expensive quote. The quote was not the most expensive, but an order of magnitude larger than the cheapest one.

Turns out they bought into a slick sales pitch with little technical competency under the hood, cost and time overruns and the rest. Yes there are obvious lessons to learn here.

Now they are looking at their options including adopting an alternative vendor. The vendor that most fits the bill – was the cheapest in the first round. A well established international vendor with a solid track record – who sells themselves too cheap in this market. The result – they gather suspicion rather than orders. Again – nothing new here – heard all about price-positioning before.

This story is interesting becuase it shows how wisdom on both the vendor or the customers part could actually help mitigate the follies of the other – that ignorance on both sides is needed before such a tragedy can occur.

So next time you find yourself wishing the customer or the vendor had more – whatever – look at yourself and think about what you must also be lacking in order to manifest the situation that troubles you so.

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