November 22, 2010
What Drives Me Crazy About Dealing with Vendors: The Straitjacket Corporate Policy Makers Force Reps to Wear
"Without Naming Names (unless you want to…) What drives you crazy when dealing with vendors? And/Or – Have you had positive dealings with a vendor that other vendors could learn from?" That's the topic of another very interesting 3 Geeks' Elephant Post. My answer would echo many of the responses at Elephant Post: What Drives You Crazy When Dealing With Vendors? particularly with respect to vendor reps who may not be sufficiently knowledgeable about their own products and services, their competition's products and services, and their client's institutional needs.
But more to the point, I think the greater issue lies with corporate policies that tend to put so many restrictions on experienced vendor reps that they do not have the much needed flexibility to address their clients unique situations. So what drives me crazy with dealing with vendors? It's the corporate policy makers who are so far removed from the marketplace that the directives from HQ they spit out loses institutional buyers' business in their endless pursue to guarantee a revenue stream.
Our major vendors tend to be so driven by targets for quarterly and annual financial reporting they ignore the uncertainities faced by their clients while crafting schemes to aleviate their own uncertain futures. Isn't it better to retain a customer base by elimininating muti-year lock-ins and pitching new one as escapes from high annual price increases than lose customers because such muti-year deals are not something most rational economic actors are willing to entertain right now? Isn't it better to reduce annual pricing increases in response to market realities over the short term to maintain a client base long term?
As I've said many times before, don't take your frustrations out on your vendor reps. Take it out on their employer's corporate policies by allocating your limited collection development budget to those companies that are the most flexible when it comes to transacting business. In the world of online and print legal publishing there are no sacred cows anymore. An institutional buyer can switch from Westlaw to Lexis or from Lexis to Westlaw with relative ease for online legal search. There are very few absolutely essential secondary titles from one publisher's catalog of offerings that cannot be substituted by acquiring a similar title from another publisher's product line regardless of whether the publisher is West, LN Matthew Bender, BNA or Wolters Kluwer.
One unintended consequence of the consolidation in the legal publishing industry is that legal resources have increasing become comoditized and in some instances at the expense of maintaining high editorial standards. The Big Two and the Little Two are competing head-to-head by offering resources that overlap each other in most instances. What's left to differentiate them? How they transact business with institutional buyers. [JH]
November 21, 2010
This Is What Oxford Is Thinking
A couple of weeks ago, I posted some information in the CCC academic license for Oxford publications (see "What is Oxford Thinking?") The post was about some odd interlibrary loan language in their term rights limitations.
Well, I was happy to see an e-mail from Peter Berkery, Vice President & Editorial Director, US Law Division of OUP.
Peter admitted that it was difficult for them to track down the reason why that language had been inserted, but at the same time he did assure me that the goal was to make things more clear by including that language.
He also agreed that the language does seem confusing and that they would be working on tightening the language. I checked a few minutes ago. There was no tightening, or clarification on why they are inserting prohibitions on interlibrary loans in their license for course packs and like uses - which is the primary purpose of the CCC academic license.
So, I hope Peter finds out why that language is there and can clarify whatever it is that they are trying to do. My point here is to let you know that Oxford did reach out to me and are working on a better choice of language for their terms limits. And I thank them for that, because there are others who do not. (VS)
Today You're in Charge of the Nation's Finances: New York Times' Budget Puzzle
According to the New York Time's article, O.K., You Fix the Budget, the NYT Budget Puzzle is the result of a discussion with Congressional and White House aides and from liberal, conservative and centrist budget analysts. "The ultimate goal is to help you judge the deficit proposals that are now emerging. Do you think they cut spending too much and should raise taxes more? Or the reverse? Are they too aggressive or too meek on military spending? How will they affect income inequality? How might they help or hurt economic growth?" The deficit puzzle focuses on the year 2030 "because it is far enough away that the boomers’ retirement will weigh heavily on the budget but near enough that reasonable budget estimates exist."
Here's the Budget Puzzle link."Today, you’re in charge of the nation’s finances. Some of your options have more short-term savings and some have more long-term savings. When you have closed the budget gaps for both 2015 and 2030, you are done. Make your own plan, then share it online." [JH]
Round-Up of Practitioner Blogs
St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog
Analyzes injury law news, cases and reports in Missouri. Published by John M. Cichelero, PC.
Boston Criminal Defense Lawyers Blog
Covers criminal law news, reports and cases in Massachusetts. Published by Parker Scheer, LLP.
Boston Personal Injury Lawyers Blog
Provides opinions on injury law reports, cases and news in Massachusetts. Published by Parker Scheer, LLP.
Los Angeles Injury Lawyer Blog
Discusses injury law news, opinions and reports in California. Published by The Chahine Law Firm.
North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog
Provides insight on injury law news, cases and reports in North Carolina. Published by the Law Offices of Lee & Smith, PA.