I WAS TALKING in my Risky Business blog on the 21st October about Purchasing Power, and how large corporates will always find ways of"bullying" trade suppliers in order to protect their own financial standing.
Serco Group PLC finds itself on the BBC news for this very reason. A few days ago, its financial director wrote to suppliers asking them to retrospectively agree a 2.5% rebate on annual spend. The letter went on to say "your response will no doubt indicate your committment to our partnership, but will also be something i will seriously consider in our working relationship as Serco continues to grow". .....Hmm, is that some kind of veiled threat I'm wondering ?
Fortunately for its suppliers,Serco must have re-read its own Corporate Social Responsibility brochurefor 2009 that talks of the company's governing principles, one of which states, "We listen. In doing so, we treat others as we would wish to be
Serco has now apologised to all its suppliers saying that it had made a U-turn on the enforced rebate idea. I guess Serco wouldn't have liked its customers threatening them with imposed rebates on past business either.......
Thanks for drawing this story to our attention, Martin. The bad publicity is well deserved.
The new website format doesn't quite work with a blog post starting with "I" next to a picture! Hope your tech people can fix the text flow around those bookmark icons.
Posted by: Neville Reid, 03 Nov 2010 | 17:43
Customer = the government; the threat has already been made?
Posted by: Pete Cruze, 04 Nov 2010 | 09:38
Thanks to Neville for pointing out teething problems re the the new AA website format, and for the supportive words.
In answer to Pete, I'm not sure whether the Government was threatening to ask for a rebate from Serco, but I agree with you that the Government must have voiced some pretty strong opinions on the subject!
Posted by: martin williams, 04 Nov 2010 | 12:19
Hi gang, I seemed to have sorted out the strange "I" thing for the time being...
Posted by: Kevin Reed, deputy editor, Accountancy Age, 25 Nov 2010 | 16:43
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