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Old 01-25-2020, 05:39 PM
 
68 posts, read 57,214 times
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Hello,

I have recently received somewhat of a promotion at work. I am not the manager of my department, but I have been asked to be the interim leader until we find a new permanent manager. They may extend the permanent offer to me after they post the job and interview some candidates. But in the mean time, I am tasked with running things.

About 1 month ago someone from our purchasing department placed a order by mistake. It was for about $10,000 worth of equipment we don't need. The previous manager who just retired talked to the vendor it was ordered from and the sales rep was resistant to taking the items back and that was the last I heard of it.

I work for a hospital which is a non-profit. The attitude at this place about costs is pretty relaxed. So far, nobody in administration seems to be concerned about the $10,000 worth of stuff sitting on the shelf that was ordered by mistake.

That same sales rep is coming in this upcoming week to discuss a different matter. I am thinking about bringing this up to him again, but would like to do so in a conducive way for everybody. Honestly it kind of irked me to hear that he didn't want to take the items back as our relationship with each other is fairly new. Even though these costs don't directly come out of my paycheck, nor have I specifically been tasked with dealing with this issue, I recognize that the ridiculous costs of healthcare are directly related to waste and abuse such as this situation.

Would you all push the issue when the sales rep comes in? If so, what would be a good way to go about it?
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:50 PM
 
14,174 posts, read 5,853,048 times
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This would seem to be a fairly black and white issue. What is the return policy of the vendor? If their policy allows for unused items to be returned then it's irrelevant whether the sales rep is "resistant" to it or not. And if their policy does not allow for such returns then it's irrelevant whether your company made a mistake or not. You need to know if the sales rep even has the discretion to accept the items returned or not. And if they do but choose not to accept them, then you have to decide whether you want to continue to do business with them, which may depend upon your alternative options.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:05 PM
 
68 posts, read 57,214 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
This would seem to be a fairly black and white issue. What is the return policy of the vendor? If their policy allows for unused items to be returned then it's irrelevant whether the sales rep is "resistant" to it or not. And if their policy does not allow for such returns then it's irrelevant whether your company made a mistake or not. You need to know if the sales rep even has the discretion to accept the items returned or not. And if they do but choose not to accept them, then you have to decide whether you want to continue to do business with them, which may depend upon your alternative options.
Thank you.

That certainly sounds like the correct approach. From my experience, although there are policies, the vendors we work with do exercise leeway at times. But I guess we (or I) should just look up their return policy and go by that to start with.

It's really not my fight and I have enough on my plate at the moment. But I would still like to see this stuff returned since it will definitely go unused and expire. Total waste of money.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:13 PM
 
14,174 posts, read 5,853,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDroz View Post
Thank you.

That certainly sounds like the correct approach. From my experience, although there are policies, the vendors we work with do exercise leeway at times. But I guess we (or I) should just look up their return policy and go by that to start with.

It's really not my fight and I have enough on my plate at the moment. But I would still like to see this stuff returned since it will definitely go unused and expire. Total waste of money.

If you cannot get a return, what about an exchange of product? Even if it's something you do not need now but can use in the future. Your company gets usable product for it's money and the sales rep retains their earned commission. Win-win.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:21 PM
 
68 posts, read 57,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
If you cannot get a return, what about an exchange of product? Even if it's something you do not need now but can use in the future. Your company gets usable product for it's money and the sales rep retains their earned commission. Win-win.
Another great idea. I guess I will see how it goes and will interject the suggestion if appropriate.

Thank you again!
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:26 PM
 
229 posts, read 135,963 times
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how much does your company spend with the salesman's company?

look at alternate suppliers.
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:27 AM
 
80,266 posts, read 78,622,557 times
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is the item returnable by the vendor ? that is the big question ..

as a wholesaler for decades for the electrical supply industry i can tell you customers want to return non returnable items many times .

there are items the factory's make to order because there is low demand and they won't take them back....

realize to that as a wholesaler customers forget that like them we do everything we needed to do to earn our profit ...

customers would hate to do everything expected of them to earn their profit and then the customer wants them to do what they do for free by undoing what they did and they get a thanks anyway .

that is what returns are to a vendor ...in fact the typical return from getting it back and through all the hands it has to pass through before it makes it back in to inventory and the shelf can cost 30-40 bucks in handling .without us trying to return to a vendor , who usually has restocking fees plus freight . or they require an order 2x the value of what you want to return .

plus facilities like hospitals are generally slow payers . so on top of the fact the company may be paying interest on that money to pay their vendor now the hospital wants to return that stuff and owe nothing .


not many people would accept that happening in their own lives when they do work for someone ...how about if for every return your company handles they dock your pay for what you earned because the item was returned . i don't think that would sit well for those who did everything they needed to do to earn their pay and now it is taken away from them because the customer returned it .

but that is exactly what is done to a wholesaler when customers want to return things after that wholesaler did everything needed by them to earn their profit .

Last edited by mathjak107; 01-26-2020 at 04:40 AM..
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:05 AM
 
5,118 posts, read 3,410,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDroz View Post
Honestly it kind of irked me to hear that he didn't want to take the items back as our relationship with each other is fairly new. Even though these costs don't directly come out of my paycheck, nor have I specifically been tasked with dealing with this issue, I recognize that the ridiculous costs of healthcare are directly related to waste and abuse such as this situation.
I wouldn't bring it up without more research, especially since this is not your area of responsibility. The purchasing department could have already run the numbers and that's why the previous manager decided it wasn't worth it to return it. Maybe the shipping costs and/or restocking fees are high.

I would just move forward and see if you can negotiate a better discount on future orders from this vendor.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Texas
309 posts, read 111,250 times
Reputation: 854
Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDroz View Post
Hello,
<del>
About 1 month ago someone from our purchasing department placed a order by mistake. It was for about $10,000 worth of equipment we don't need. The previous manager who just retired talked to the vendor it was ordered from and the sales rep was resistant to taking the items back and that was the last I heard of it.
<del>
That same sales rep is coming in this upcoming week to discuss a different matter. I am thinking about bringing this up to him again, but would like to do so in a conducive way for everybody. Honestly it kind of irked me to hear that he didn't want to take the items back as our relationship with each other is fairly new. Even though these costs don't directly come out of my paycheck, nor have I specifically been tasked with dealing with this issue, I recognize that the ridiculous costs of healthcare are directly related to waste and abuse such as this situation.

Would you all push the issue when the sales rep comes in? If so, what would be a good way to go about it?
Since you are now responsible for purchasing I would have a discussion with the sales person about the prior purchase. You need to understand the policies to insure you fully understand the processes. If the supplier does not have a good return policy and you have alternative suppliers you might be able to suggest to your bosses they change suppliers.

I would treat it as information gathering rather than treating it as a problem. Ask about the return policy and processes. Find out from sales person why the prior purchase does not meet that criteria.

It may be that she/he does not want the return because it lowers their sales for the month rather than a company policy. If the return would meet the company policy for returns you should push to make it happen.

Being proactive could mean you get the permanent position.
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:51 PM
 
68 posts, read 57,214 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevv View Post
Since you are now responsible for purchasing I would have a discussion with the sales person about the prior purchase. You need to understand the policies to insure you fully understand the processes. If the supplier does not have a good return policy and you have alternative suppliers you might be able to suggest to your bosses they change suppliers.

I would treat it as information gathering rather than treating it as a problem. Ask about the return policy and processes. Find out from sales person why the prior purchase does not meet that criteria.

It may be that she/he does not want the return because it lowers their sales for the month rather than a company policy. If the return would meet the company policy for returns you should push to make it happen.

Being proactive could mean you get the permanent position.
Sorry, I should clarify.

I do not work in purchasing. I work in the clinical setting. The purchasing department orders our supplies for us. I merely caught wind that the supplies were ordered by accident and when I went to the warehouse I saw them still sitting on the shelf a month later. I asked some of the workers about how the mistake happened and what is going to happen with the supplies but none of them knew.

The hospital has done this time and time again. Money gets thrown around like nothing. This is honestly a drop in the bucket compared to other things I've seen, but this is somewhat within my control which is why I'm talking about it.

Yes you're right, this could reflect well on me and turn into an offer for the promotion, although I am doing it out of principle and not particularly to impress anyone.
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