Got an invitation to tender on Friday that the organisation were very keen for us to pitch for, well that's quite nice i thought. Until i read it.
I won't go into pros and cons of long woolly tender docs that don't appear to be constructed in any way to find the best supplier or even the best priced supplier as many of them request costs for services that are at best low priority and worst pretty damn irrelevant. To be fair - i quite enjoy a well written tender process that goes out to a finite,identified group of relevant companies run by people who know broadly what they want to get out of the process.
The thing that got this one put into the eternal pending file was that it was a 3 year contract that was going to be pay by results. That is a fine principle and one we benefit from normally. However Year 1 of contract would be about setting the benchmarks/targets and therefore the supplier should not expect to make any margin from Year 1 (translation - supplier would take a considerable hit in Year 1). The client would then set the targets for Year 2 based on Year 1, and targets for Year 3 based on Year 2.
In brief - what is wrong with the above
1. The logic is that it would serve supplier well to perform poorly in Year 1 and get soft targets. Kafkaesque in its silliness.
2. The client sets the targets (not client and supplier) - again logically why not keep ramping up targets - supplier cannot do anything about it. Maybe i should try that on the biz dev team at OME.
3. I have an inbuilt principle not to do loads of work for someone and not get paid until about 18 months later (in fact fund their activity out of our pockets) - what if company/organisation gets bought or goes bust, the economy tanks, government cutbacks, stuff gets outsourced etc etc. I feel that my frantically waving a performance led contract is not going to get noticed by anyone at this point.
So thanks for the invitation but i am washing my hair that night.