Recently I spoke to a customer who was kind enough to call me and let me know our prices were fair, even a bit cheaper, but not enough to possibly change suppliers. They were really on the fence as to whether or not to change.
I suggested to let us do the analysis for them and show how we can really save them a ton of money. All we needed was the past few invoices and we would do the analysis ourselves. (At any time we can have dozens of them on the go for customers, and we have software to make the process accurate and quick).
The customer informed me that their finance people would not allow us to see their invoices. I have always wondered what the reason is that customers won't show us what they currently pay. Without the correct information to start with, how do any of the parties know what the best cost of the products is, or who would be the best supplier?
In this month's Independent Dealer - a monthly e-zine publication for the Office Supplies Dealer, there is an update on the Office Depot overcharging problems and lawsuits that are ongoing in each state. It was my friend Rick who helped crack the whole Office Depot overcharging case wide open a few years ago, all because he was supplied real invoices to do an analysis for an independent Office Supplier in the states.
Where I going with this is, let suppliers see your invoices - only two things will happen. Lower Prices, or the bidding company will say they can't compete. Either way, you - the customer - wins.
Over charging is a common practice with the big box office supply companies, and they love it when customers refuse to turn over invoices to the Independent Dealer.
Here are a few issues Office Depot is now having now that each invoice is being audited.
- San Francisco City Auditors' Report: Office Depot Did Not Comply With Its Contract and Has Overcharged the City at Least $5.75 Million
- City Controller's Office finds overcharges, other irregularities on City of Los Angeles' contract with Office Depot for office supplies.
- Berkeley Daily Planet: City Says Office Depot Overcharged on Supply Contract
- CBS4 in Denver reports: Attorney General's office investigating Office Depot for possibly cheating school districts out of money
- Florida Attorney General Reaches $4.5 Million Settlement with Office Depot
- Auditor Says Office Depot May Have Overcharged Florida County $1 Million
- City Audit finds Office Depot Overcharged Pembroke Pines
- Palm Beach Post: Office Depot Inc. overcharged Lee County by almost $60,000, according to a report by that county's internal audit department.
- FOX 4 TV: Whistle Blows on Office Depot
- Palm Beach Post: State probes Office Depot pricing
- A CBS Atlanta investigation uncovers a $1.5 million waste of school children's money
- A CBS Atlanta reporter looks into claims that Office Depot is charging a local school district more for school supplies than it does the general public.
- Atlanta Journal Constitution: State Ends Contract with Office Depot
- State Attorney General announces judgment in Office Depot case --company pays $320,000 restitution
- State AG Putting Office Depot Under Microscope
- WRAL News: State auditor looking at Office Depot deals again
- State Auditors Find Office Depot Overcharged North Carolina Agencies by Over $294,000
- State Auditor's Report on Office Depot Contract
- The Dallas Morning News: Office Depot accused of overcharging state agencies, cities, school districts