It always amazes me when we receive a quote request for 1,000 units (or more) and they want it yesterday. There are generally a couple of explanations to this phenomenon. First, these are quite possibly RFPs which have already been “cooked” to specific provider’s requirements. Another explanation could be that they are fishing several companies for differing price quotes. In other words, they are shopping based on price. Not always the safest route–certainly the most aggravating for providers. Finally, and perhaps the most common, is the organization or individual that has successfully procrastinated the project to the the last second. We get a great number of requests for things done quickly. While we certainly have the partners and resources to pull it off, prior planning sure makes life easier for all involved.
I realize I use cliche terms more often than is healthy, or even grammatically acceptable, but “procrastination on your part, does not constitute an emergency on our part.” I remember a very heated discussion I had about six months ago with a gentleman who was adamant that we quote for 300 digital media players and that we have them delivered in one week. Possible? Yes. Probable? No. Logistically speaking, fulfilling an order like that would be a nightmare times five. If you want a big quantity and you want it quick, the cost certainly increases dramatically. This should go without saying, but sometimes organizations cannot come to grips with the idea that a supply chain is just that–a chain. And trying to force a car out of the process is either going to degrade quality or else cost you double what you had paid for it.
This post may be somewhat of a rant, but–as far as professionalism is concerned–doing things right means giving your provider the proper time to be able to make things happen at a more natural pace. While we may feel we are running a sprint, it’s actually a marathon. Trying to run a marathon at a sprinter’s pace is suicidal. I want to reiterate some things I have touched on before when it comes to projects, project requests and project time lines.