Sucked in by a Slick Sales Engineer
I'm a contract engineer and I have just finished managing a smallish project in a palletising/warehousing environment
There was a degree of complexity due to an older pallet selection and management system which had a number of pieces of ancillary plant integrated into it. Also, the company I was working for had zero electrical/plc knowledge of this particular system (at a higher technical level)
I freely admit that I under estimated the complexity of the control system. A 20 year old dinosaur. However, in my defense - there was no readily available support and if I had waited until I had all of the background data, the job would not have been completed on time and the money assigned to the supply and installation of new equipment would have been eaten up in pre work.
Obviously, this was not an ideal situation - but the guidelines where set and it was a case of "manage it and make it work" - and get the job completed during a scheduled Easter 2012 outage because that the only time we can give you and we need to make it happen.
Anyway, moving on - there was one major piece of plant which was a "supply and install" and I should have been more awake.
"Should have" how I hate that expression - But I digress - I fell for the "smooth talking sales routine" - I know that I should have known better and I have a personal rule to avoid the slick sales engineers who seem to good to be true - because they usually are !
But I was under pressure and desperately looking for solutions - and I needed them in a hurry.
So the "yes, we can do that " routine seemed like a godsend - manna from heaven and I placed the purchase order with them.
I'm sure that you can all write the rest of this story -
Once the technical guys got involved - the "yes we can do that" changed to "no we don't do that" and with time pressure building - the sales engineer was quick to explain that there was obviously a misunderstanding and my understanding of the terminology in the quote was not what his company actually quoted for.
I was not happy and could have spent a lot of time justifiably arguing the point or looking for another supplier - but time was of the essence and I had to manage what I had got - so I bit my tongue hard and I did what was needed to be done in order to make it all come together. And of course - further into the project - I paid the price
The point of my story is - beware the Slick Sales Engineer - get "buy in" from the technical guys BEFORE you write that purchase order
Thursday 31 May, 2012 11:35 AM