caveat emptor or “Let the Buyer Beware” …
used to be the slogan, but after dealing with a company called Asco Numatics, a Division of Emerson, we have come to realize that it is really “Let the Seller Beware.” Let me explain: over a several month period we consulted with Asco Numatics on a high-purity water treatment system. Our head engineer was dealing with an engineer from their company, which is always a challenge because engineers always think they know everything, and in reality, they often understand less than the Average Joe. But this was a nice job, so we spent hours and hours designing, consulting with them, answering and re-answering questions and enduring some rather rude treatment by their engineer. All in all, we had upward of 20 hours spent designing this system, mostly because they had no idea what they wanted and of course had no experience in designing such a system.
We are a company that has tech support 365 days a year, a strong engineering base and a no BS, straight-forward sales approach. There aren’t many companies in the water industry that fit that description. When our final proposal was submitted, they informed us that it would be put up on a web auction. Web auction? Really? You are kidding? Really? When the auction was started, we were the low bid, but about halfway through the auction, someone dropped their bid and bumped us to number two. We talked about it and felt that we had given them a fair bid, but if it was just a few dollars that separated us from being number one, we would drop our bid slightly, so we tried to drop it by about 1% – the system would not allow it! Hummmmm….
Today, we found out that they had awarded the bid to someone else. At this point we feel used, betrayed, de-frauded, duped and just plain stupid.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me! It won’t happen again. I guess Asco Numatics, a Division of Emerson has no problems letting someone engineer and design a system and then award it to someone else has no skin in the game and lower costs because they had no engineering or consultation time. Well, I have a problem with it. I won’t allow a company like Asco or Emerson to use us for design and consultation only to let someone else with no costs lowball us. If you are seller to Asco Numatics, a Division of Emerson, you may want to protect yourself too.
I won’t get fooled again!
UPDATE: A few days later Mr. Peter Dayton who is the head of Purchasing called me and we talked. I still don’t like the process, but I am certain they are above board in what they are doing… even if I don’t like it.