How To Choose the Right Vendor

Remember A, Q, S, C, I and you will never be disappointed in your choice.

Many years ago I was in a meeting with one of the top procurement people of then the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world. I and my colleagues were there to procure a contract. One of my colleagues repeatedly said there was nothing more important in the consideration to hire than cost.

At one point, the head of procurement said, "Well, that's not true. At best it is the fourth consideration." Need I say that at that point he had my rapt attention; this I had to hear.

He went on to explain the concept of A, Q, S, C, I. "The first consideration is ASSURANCE. If I give you this project can I be assured that you'll even show up? The second is QUALITY. Can I be assured that the quality of the work you will perform will be commensurate with the amount of money I'm paying you? The third is SERVICE. Can I be assured that the service you provide will meet or exceed my expectations?

"After these three questions are answered affirmatively then and only then does cost have a place in the consideration of awarding you the project. If you fail any one of the above, cost is no longer a consideration and awarding you the project is out of the question."

Interestingly, his fifth consideration astounded me. INNOVATION, as he put it was probably more important than anything else. His point was that if you're not working with innovators you will never get more than the standard fare of anything; no new ideas, no new concepts, ways of doing things or new tools with which to work.

When you stop to consider all the innovations that have taken place in just the past few years it is impossible to ignore how important innovation is to the survival of your business.



ZKI is the founder and owner of Zki Communications. In June of 1989, our company was founded on the belief that we were uniquely capable of producing high quality, easy to understand, memorable messages. Changes in the economy had put the market in flux. Businesses found themselves caught in the paradox of a growing need to communicate and dwindling budgets with which to do it. At ZKI Communications we make messages easy to understand and memorable. More information is available on our website,