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Do you really need to specify the hardware brand?


CPC are always looking at ways to achieve better value for money for our members, as such we have regular meetings with our suppliers to make sure that they are offering competitive prices as well as a good service. However, one thing that suppliers do say is that it’s very difficult to do offer competitive prices when members specify a particular brand. We have asked one of our major suppliers to compile a few notes on why brand specification doesn’t always equal value for money – here is what they said….

Let’s consider some of the real issues;

So you’re using MyBrand, you’ve used them for a number of years and on the whole their OK, not brilliant, but OK. To be honest no one really grumbles and the IT department says that all the images are set up for MyBrand so we can only buy MyBrand.

The IT department would say that as they are for an easy life – no problem with that - but aren’t we trying to secure best value for the public purse? Not to mention achieving the lowest cost of ownership for your institution. The idea that an image can only be built on MyBrand machines is actually flawed, the image can be built on any quality device supported by a suitable roadmap so the components don’t necessarily change.

Won’t that cost more money? No it won’t. Suppliers who really want your business will provide an engineer to come to your site and help you build a gold image on the new devices.

You may believe that you are obtaining the best price because you go out to three quotes and therefore have proven best value – if you have specified the brand this is unlikely to be the case. MyBrand know you need their devices so they only give the three distributors the price where they achieve a high margin. They then let the distributors fight it out, so you end up with the lowest price in your competition but you pay a high price compared with the wider market.

On the odd occasion you actually want an identical device, (there’s nothing wrong with that) you can specify the requirement generically, ask the suppliers to help and you get a perfectly robust and reliable device with a long roadmap at far better value.

So next time you have a hardware device requirement consider whether the brand can be taken out of the request and issued generically? See what can be saved and you may even end up with a considerable saving from your current brand.

The Crescent Purchasing Consortium Desktop Hardware & Peripherals framework offers you the chance to put your requirements out quickly and easily. If you just make your specifications generic more suppliers will respond in turn offering greater competition and most importantly best value for money for your institution. You also have the peace of mind that if you need any additional advice or support members of the CPC team are always at hand to help you.

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