Signs You Got Stuck with the Low BidMike Gillespie
If you have purchased a pump from a manufacturer who submitted the lowest bid, there are a few signs that may indicate that you got stuck with a low-quality pump:
- Frequent breakdowns: The pump may require frequent repairs or replacements, indicating that it is not built to last or handle the job at hand.
- Poor Performance: The pump may not meet the required flow rate or head, causing the system to underperform, leading to process issues or upstream overflows.
- Noise and Vibration: The pump may produce more noise and vibration than expected, indicating that it is not designed for the intended use.
- Poor Quality Materials: The manufacturer may use substandard materials to cut costs, resulting in a lower quality product that is more prone to wear and tear.
- Limited Functionality: The pump may not have the required features or capabilities to meet your needs, leading to additional costs or system modifications.
- Inaccurate or Incomplete Documentation: The manufacturer may not provide accurate or complete documentation on the pump’s specifications, performance, or maintenance requirements, leading to confusion, errors, and additional costs.
- Poor Customer Service: The manufacturer may not offer adequate customer service or support, leading to delays, frustration, and additional costs.
- Limited Life Expectancy: The pump may have a shorter life expectancy than other pumps on the market, resulting in additional replacement or repair costs over time.
If the pump fails to meet your needs, it may be worth considering investing in a higher-quality pump from a reputable manufacturer, even if its upfront costs are higher.
We asked several experienced wastewater operators about issues they’ve had with low-bid pump manufacturers. See the following list of the Top Ten Signs You “Got Stuck” with the Low Bid Pump Manufacturer.” This is meant to be humorous, but there is often truth in humor!
- The startup consists of the salesman placing his hand on the pump, grinning, and stating, “Looks Good To Me.”
- Your maintenance staff orders parts so frequently that they have the part numbers memorized.
- O&M manuals are incomplete and disorganized. They are available in multiple languages, but English is not one of them.
- You cannot talk to a live person when you call the manufacturer for parts or services. You get automated voicemail hell, a busy signal, or you have to leave a message.
- The only time you see the sales rep is at bid time when he wants to be named as an “or equal.”
- It takes three of your mechanics one full day to unclog a pump.
- The pump company has been bought and sold three times in the last ten years.
- A replacement impeller costs almost as much as a new pump.
- It takes over 12 weeks to get a replacement part, and when you finally receive it, it doesn’t fit.
- The pump model is obsolete soon after it is installed.
At Envirep/TLC, being the low-bidder is not part of our strategy. Our strategy is to provide realistic prices for high-quality products and services. We believe in value-based procurement, which means evaluating purchases over and above price and including factors such as long-term value, serviceability, customer service, parts availability, etc. We believe that municipalities and private entities should use value-based procurement methods to ensure the best use of their water and wastewater budgets.
Click here for information on value-based procurement on WWEMA’s website page. WWEMA is the Water and Wastewater Manufacturer’s Association, a non-profit trade association representing water and wastewater technology and service providers. WWEMA advocates for the use of value-based procurement practices that consider factors beyond the lowest initial price and reward companies that offer the greatest value in technology and service to their customers. Read WWEMA’s value-based position paper here.
By Michael J. Gillespie, Envirep
Envirep is a manufacturer’s representative for equipment used to pump, treat and dispose of wastewater and biosolids. We also represent manufacturers of equipment used to pump, treat, distribute, and store drinking (potable) water. We serve the municipal and industrial water and wastewater market in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., and Virginia.