Partnering with others and maintaining standards

I have to say that since I have been running my own businesses I have been fortunate or perhaps just sufficiently prudent to choose the right subcontractors and joint venture partners. Where I have given work to others they have not let me down, though I have had clients who have made mistakes. Often the reason is that they wish to give work to the party quoting the lowest figure rather than vetting or asking for recommendations for the best quality supplier.

I love Dell computers. I have bought three for business in the last couple of years and my wife and I also purchased two as family presents. They are quality products and the customer service is great on the rare occasions one might need it.

This confidence in the products led me to buy a Dell ink-jet printer. I might just have been unlucky in that it has never worked satisfactorily, One thing I can say is that it has been incredibly expensive to run. The ink cartridges are appallingly expensive. They don’t last long. Guess what? Dell don’t make the printers; they are essentially re-branded Lexmark machines and the latter company is notoriously expensive for ink.

We all make mistakes and clearly I should have done my research better. I have now bought an HP printer based on reviews and my good past experience of their products, and I hope for the best. I am assured the cost per page will be far less than the Dell-Lexmark, and anyway I am trying to print less as part my effort for conservation.

Maybe Dell think Lexmark are delivering in price. Are they delivering on customer satisfaction? I think it is a timely reminder for me in choosing the right subcontractors and service providers too. What do you think?

© Jon Stow 2010

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