Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 5 seconds
Cecil's Big Breakfast
Last week I was in Albuquerque, working with a client who was nearly as big a fan of local restaurants as I am. We were able to indulge in more than one meal together, but my favorite was our breakfast that was actually more than I could eat. His business issues, however, were easily digested.
We ate at one of the city's Weck's restaurants. I understand there are 3 locations, but one was certainly enough. He had warned me that the portions were huge, but that didn't deter me from ordering a cinnamon role and the "Big Pig" platter. I'm not sure what all was in the Big Pig, but there was a lot of pork, some cheese, and 4 eggs. My downfall was eating the cinnamon role first. It was nearly as big as the plate, and covered with sugar icing. I ended up leaving some of the hash browns, since they were the least individual items on my plate.
As for his business problems, I have to say that I've heard his story before, but from different sources. He had been looking for an outsource provider, after becoming tired of managing his own EDI applications, the associated hardware, and the interactions with his trading partners. He had received an email promotion from one of the outsource providers he had been considering, expounding how this company had been able to replace one of their competitors (another company he was considering) in several locations. They indicated that this was only the beginning of a trend, and that they fully expected to be the dominant force in the EDI outsource world within the next very few months.
This client is as shrewd a business person as he is a restaurant adventurer, and decided to call the client identified by this prospective outsourcer. It turned out that the company had, indeed signed on with this provider. However, they had only transferred one small portion of their overall application suite to this company. The remainder of their EDI operations were still being handled by the company this vendor crowed about replacing.
In the end, my client ended up working with the company that was supposedly being replaced. He told me that it wasn't really an issue of size, or even of the applications. His choice had more to do with the fact that the vendor exaggerated their advantage... unlike what I though had been his exaggeration of Weck's breakfast plate.
Make sure your portions are proportionate, and your providers truthful.