GO PRO reader feedback
The names we use convey our respect
Please share my compliments with Michael Bevis on his article, “What’s in a Name?” [October/November 2011]. We used to call clients “users,” which conjures up all sorts of bad images. Now if we could stop calling suppliers “vendors.” The words we use convey our respect for the people we do business with. Users, clients or customers? Leaders or managers? Bureaucrats or public servants? Politicians or legislators?
— John Adler,
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Uniforms article made one-sided case
The Hot Topics article on uniform purchases [“Renting vs. Purchasing,” October/November 2011] appears to be a presentation by one business in favor of that business’s particular model, in this case selling uniforms. Having recently bid out uniform services, I find that most of the generalizations and alarming examples in the article are not reliable. Of course, the author uses enough “mays” and “mights” to escape charges of outright falsification, but it seems to me that the intent of the article is quite apparent: make a one-sided case for purchase.
— Michael Glasson,
Town of Marana, Ariz.
More about boxes and problem solving
Your column about problem solving is right on [“Things that come in boxes for $200, Alex,” Fred Marks, October/November 2011]. I found a quote that is appropriate to your theme: “My team is having trouble thinking outside the box. We can’t agree on the size of the box, what materials the box should be constructed from, a reasonable budget for the box, or our first choice of box vendor.” (Glasbergen, 2001)
The real challenge, of course, is questioning the status quo because we are invested in the status quo, and changing it may impact our comfort zone. However, as persistent and determined buying professionals, we are able to find the answers and develop new directions.
Your continuing insight is appreciated.
— Chris Alsop,
Nice article, and particularly “Fred-ish.” This is the only article I’ve ever read with “men’s room” and “flogging” in consecutive paragraphs.
— Darin Matthews,
Just wanted to say thank you for making me smile with your recent article. I’ve always been that creative thinker that thinks a little different from the others. Three years ago, I left an international sales position to pursue a job closer to home and landed in public procurement. My only regret is that I did not find this profession years ago as I love how it taps my creative thought every single day. You would think bringing change in an academic environment would be easy, but I have not always found that to be the case. Thank you for the tip on watching titles to add “an evenness to the discussion.” That one little tweak may do the trick as I try to move the department toward e-procurement.
— Lita Orner,
Hagerstown, Md., Community College