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PeterK wrote:
> having been in the industry for almost 30 years i've found that the
great majority of vendors (big and small) are willing to negotiate. The
key is that results of the negotiations should be a win-win for both
sides.

I just wanted to second this notion. Recently I bid and renewed a
service contract with a vendor we have used for 20 years. With only a
few glitches along the way, the vendor has provided quality service at a
low bid price. One of our county attorneys was bothered by the fact that
the contract outlined obligations to both the vendor and the county
(this attorney was used to contracts that contained only obligations to
the vendor, never to the county). I pointed out that the processes
involved were complex, and needed coordination on both sides, and in the
past, it has occasionally been the case that one side (including our
own) didn't live up to its obligations. Outlining the mutual obligations
assured that all sides are on the same page, can plan accordingly, and
had clear processes to measure performance by. It's one of the main
reasons why we have a contract that has provided a quality service at a
low bid price for 20 years!

I think this kind of negotiation benefits the vendors as well. It gives
them clear guidelines on where to invest the money to improve service.
Everyone wins in the end.

Dwight Wallis, CRM
Records Administrator
Multnomah County Records Management Program
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Gresham, OR 97233
phone: (503)988-3741
fax: (503)988-3754
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