You may recall from my article “Purchasing Services: The Pitfalls, Part I” that I stressed the importance of clearly defining service completion time frames, citing how delivery in “30 days” could end up meaning that you could expect delivery in about 3 months depending on the interpretation of days.

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Well, today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offered another real-life example of how differing interpretations of service completion time frames can cause a buying organization headaches.

The article describes how the City of Pittsburgh recently privatized its vehicle maintenance. The contract requires most vehicles to be repaired in 24 or 48 hours. According to the city, their repair vendor failed to meet the 48 hour (which the city interprets as two days) requirement about 1/3 of the time. The vendor said that there was a verbal agreement with a city executive to “count only the 13.5 hours per day during which the garage is open against the threshold, meaning that 48 hours is nearly four days.”

Service buyers: There are a lot of pitfalls when purchasing services. At the very least, read the free article! Our online class, Supply Management Contract Writing can also help you avoid debacles like this one.

Charles Dominick, SPSM
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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