1. Cooked-Up RFPs
While it is required by many orgs to submit an RFP and to receive quotes from several vendors, it is generally easy to smell if the fish has been “pre-cooked” or not. We generally do not respond to RFPs which boarder along the “fishy” edge of being pre-treated for a particular vendor. They just are not worth our time. Worse still are those request for bids that come in disguised to no end, but whose intent is simply obtaining the required quota for the organization’s particular bid requirements. There is no way to eliminate this, but it will always have an aggravating edge to it.
2. Requests for Free Pilots
Digital signage is a business, not a charity function. When a request comes in from someone to do a free pilot for six months, it’s somewhat laughable really. While we rarely receive such requests frequently, when we do they usually go something like this, “yes, we are doing an advertising network and would like to include you in on the option of investing in our business by giving us the pilot for free.” We have now received two such requests. Let me follow this offer with a couple of questions prospective ad network gent. “What is your business plan?” “Do you have more sources of funding that just advertising revenue?” And, “what is your method of implementation beyond the pilot?” There are a number of other questions that are asked as well, but honestly do you think this sounds like sound business?
3. Supplier “Fishing”
Even if the order that comes in is not incredibly large, it always is an annoyance when they need a quote, “like five hours ago” and it’s your fault that we don’t have it! Our bad. The most frustrating part about this kind of quote proposal is that it generally means they are buying on price first, functionality second. This may be the methodology of the new economy, but it does not jive well with a company that would like a enterprise solution(s). Fishing out for price, only to get demos from the top five lowest priced competitors is a foolish way of determining a solution to your needs.
Well, enough of the ranting for one day. While there are many sound ways to implement your next digital signage project, doing so efficiently and professionally is the best methodology.