I was just approached by a colleague asking my opinion about a work flow.
Customer purchases plenty from us. So they are to provide their many pieces of Purchase Order (PO) for us, that we are to later submit to our internal Order Management department.
The question: Should we bear the postage charges of the PO?
Logically, for everything that I purchase from the local printer, I am responsible to send all my PO to them. So it should be the requester’s responsibility to bear, not the seller.
That was my explanation to her.
And even if we bear the cost, how would it be done?
Answer: Allow the customer to charge to our appointed courier service. So we pay their bill when it comes.
My colleague’s response was, “Well, this customer has bought a lot from us consistently. So they are asking if they should be bear the cost since the PO generated are so so many,” as she excused herself to ask another person doing same task as she does in a different unit. This customer…
Like, really? What is it about feeling… what is this word.
I know my colleague was trying to mediate. But I feel the local people often try to get more than they should. And we on the other hand, always try to please them. It’s a vicious gray cycle within the culture that doesn’t settle with me.
Like once, a customer was insisting that we deliver the items they purchased for their few outlets scattered around the country, to Office A. We did. Apparently they hadn’t even selected a PIC to decide/manage the whole stock, which was really not our problem. Subsequently they just decided for us to manage and take upon/absorb the cost of item pickup and delivery from Office A to THEIR outlets all over the country using OUR courier service provider that ended up costing us thousands. They could have just asked for a later delivery where we can dispatch to wherever needed to be sent.
Draw that line. You must draw that line. Learn to contain and control, of what’s theirs and what’s yours.
For the case of Office A, I questioned the huge chunk of charges in the courier bill. I made them write what it was for, who requested/decided for it, brought it up to Finance to motion on this year’s OPEX. This move of footing the bill shouldn’t interfere with my ‘Postage/Courier’ budget, when it is the cost of delivery that is entwined with the cost sold to customer. I sent them out an email later on in an email later, to show what was budgeted and make known that 75% of the year’s budget has already gone to the cost of Office A’s dispatching; when it should be taken up by the COG.
Yes, hate me if you will. I know the internal costs can be adjusted flexibly. But I won’t let you run over the gray lines that you think you’re entitled to. Be it our own people or the customer.
So you may think you will in the end proceed to allow the customer to use our courier service to send your POs to us, but I will find the way to make the enabler be in a pickle for allowing it to happen. Because if you are okay for one customer to do it, you’ll let others ride on you as well. And this is the second similar request for this year.
I may a b*tch. But you are out there on daily basis to sell our products, so please make your effort worthwhile. Don’t be wasteful. It is your effort, you know. Respect yourself, please.
Really, make your effort worthwhile.