I was looking back at what I had written about over the past few years here on this blog - and I was reminded of a very sensitive post I wrote about request's for proposals (RFP's). I was very negative about them - and I continue to be today - but the reactions were quite interesting. There was universal support from suppliers - from TMC's to Airlines. They find these to be a waste of time and energy that can be used to support customer initiatives.
Then there are the responses from buyers. With them there were some mixed responses. Some enjoyed the perspective and were respectful of my opinion. Maybe they were just being nice. Others said they would think more about RFP's and issuing them - wondering what is best for them and their companies. Then there were others.....
Like one former client that asked to be removed from all mailing lists and never to be contacted by Topaz again if we would not respond to her RFP's. Ouch. That one hurt.
But the kicker was late last year when we responded to an RFP, and the exercise was one of mis-information, deciet and borderline unethical behaviors. At the time, my gut told me multiple times that this was a project that was not for us - but I was persuaded to respond - even after my objections. Later to find out we were just being used as pawns in fulfilling their internal process so that they could chose the incumbent.
Hours and hours of pain for a project I never really wanted that we ending up not getting. A waste of time. But even more than a waste of my time was the waste to their time. What was the purpose? Why? Suffice to say the next time this client comes calling we will respectfully decline - once.