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Subject: Re: sham consultants
From: "Allen, Doug" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 8 Jun 2005 17:06:02 -0400

text/plain (138 lines)


Wow, what a thread!  Based on my experience, the course of action that I
would follow would be to (1) follow the contract terms and conditions - no
consultant can override them, (2) challenge each and every assertion that
you hear - obviously there have already been false assertions, (3)
"triangulate" with your customer - They need to know in a dispassionate
manner what you are hearing.  It is also likely that this "consultant" is
playing both sides off one there may be some comments/actions
that are being attributed to you that are not factual or accurate, and
finally (4) fully document everything.  If their claims are false, and if
they are purusing a strategy designed to disrupt a valid contractual
relationship....many states have statutes that deal with "tortuous
interference" with the conduct of business (check with an attorney on that

Doug Allen, CRM, CDIA+
(working from home and part of a large company ---- sorry, I just HAD to
include that!)

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Steven Whitaker
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 3:41 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: sham consultants

Who is it Steve?  Name names.  It is ok to provide constructive feedback to
colleagues about a vendor or consultant.

Best regards, Steve
Steven D. Whitaker, CRM
Records Systems Manager; City of Reno

>>> [log in to unmask] 06/08/05 12:02PM >>>

Thanks for your post regarding the so-called "consultants."

As some of you might know, I am an (as Amy Rand says, a 'dirty-rotten')
owner of a commercial records center.  I have just experienced having to
deal with a "consultant" here in Nashville.

The "consultant" is not from Tennessee.  The "consultant" is not a CRM nor
are they even a member of PRISM or ARMA.  The "consultant" contacted a
company/organization that I have been dealing with for the past 15 years,
one in which I have had a very good relationship.  The reason the
"consultant" was able to get in my client's door was because the
responsibility for records management was transferred to another department
recently, and the organization just brought in/hired someone new to handle
this area, someone with no previous records management experience, and
someone from outside Nashville.  When she was hired, she probably thought
that by hiring this "consultant, " she could make an immediate impact on her
job regarding records management.  That's not a bad thing.  The
"consultant," from all I can gather, is simply there to help them reduce
costs in many areas, to include records management.
The "consultant" advertises that they are paid on a contingency basis only.
(Based on the amount of money they save.)  That (their fee) sounds like a
good idea.

The "consultant" let me know very quickly that my rates were "not in line."
When I asked what benchmark they were using, they referred to the "new
company" that was in Nashville.  The "new" company they were referring to is
one of the national companies and has been in Nashville more than 10 years.
Every time they mentioned the words "process, procedures or price" - they
were referring to and benchmarking me with the "new" company in town.

It was made clear that if I did not make changes, (drop my rates), that I
would not be considered when the contract renews.  They mentioned that they
(plural)  do this "all over the country."  I asked if they had ever moved
business from a local records management company (like me) to a national
records management company.  They stated, "all the time."  When I asked if
they had ever moved business from a national records management company to a
local records management company, they froze.
They did not answer the question.  When I challenged them on this, they
would give me no answer - and no references.

They quickly said that they had complaints (plural) dealing with our service
to the client.  I deal with complaints personally and had none logged from
this account in several years. When I asked for specifics, they would not
give me any, that they "could not breach that confidentiality."  I then told
them that it was still my account and that I was simply going to call my
account - that my contract had a "cure" procedure and that they could not
stop me.  The "consultant" gave in, and then gave me the name of - get this
- my former main contact for the account, as the person making the complaint
- one complaint (singular, not plural).  The "consultant" told me I was not
allowed to call my old contact, that they, (the "consultant")  was now to be
the intermediary.  I got off the phone, immediately called our old contact,
and she stated that she knew nothing - absolutely nothing as to what the
"consultant" was talking about regarding a service failure from our company.
By the way, when I called back to the "consultant"  to let them know what I
learned, it was apparent that their office was their home.  Not knocking
working out of the home in any way, but they made it sound like "they" were
big and had many people working on this project and that there were several
people in their company.

The "consultant" might be legitimate in many aspects of business - but I
doubt that they are knowledgeable/proficient in the area of records
management.   It is my opinion that they will try to move my account to
the national company with little regard as to the long-term financial and
service consequences of the decision.  And the new person making the
decision for my client doesn't know about this yet.  So, I have a job to do
with them - quickly.

Now, who all have I offended this time?

Steve Richards

R. Stephen Richards
President and CEO
Richards & Richards
Nashville, TN

615-242-9600    phone
615-242-2100    fax

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