Fair Competition in the Global Village

This letter appeared in the April/May 2008 JAVAD GNSS ad in The American Surveyor:

Fair Competition in the Global Village

People ask us why, in some places, we have two representatives in the same country, state, or even city. The answer is that we do not mind competition for customer services.

We love competition. Most people do. Note all the gadgets around you. And see the evolution of GNSS in the past 25 years. Viva competition!

Competition in sales and distribution is healthy as long it is also fair. It is not fair when one dealer does all the work and another dealer makes the sales by undercutting the price. This we do not like and will not allow.

Another thing that we do not like is assigning dealer territories, kingdoms, and colonies. Communications and internet revolutions overthrew such notions and created the global village market economy. Those who do not believe this will soon be the kings of the past. You may already know of some examples.

We are promoting fair competition in the global village. When we put a dealer’s flag on our Global Village Dealer’s Map we are not assigning dealer territories, we are simply telling the world where the dealer is. A dealer can sell worldwide, but under one very important and inflexible condition: All dealers must use our Online Order system and may not pay a penny outside this system to anybody. Not even a penny! If a dealer violates this promise we will remove its flag from our Global Village Dealer’s Map instantly. The prices shown on our website are FOB San Jose, California. Transportation, import duties, insurance and other standard expenses may apply. Additionally, dealers must be prepared to provide local support and training. It is not acceptable for one dealer to try to win business by lower price, or any other means, and then place the support burden on another dealer.

If a local dealer finds that a customer in his neighborhood has purchased our products from another dealer on the other side of the town, or from us directly, he has only himself to blame, because the customer did not travel farther to get a lower price. This we guarantee.

Bids and tenders are treated separately. Each country and state has its own special rules and procedures. We will work closely with dealers who report tenders to us. If there are two dealers in one country or state we will decide how to proceed to maximize our chance of winning the bid. In most cases, the requestor provides a matrix to show how the bids will be evaluated for award. The evaluation is done not only on technical compliance and price, but also on support. Therefore, it may happen that a dealer reports a bid to us but we decide that another dealer is better prepared to handle the inquiry.

In keeping with our love for competition, we do not mind if our dealers also offer a competitor’s products. As I wrote earlier, we even prefer for a competitor’s products to be demonstrated next to ours to make it easier for customers to readily compare.

It is with these mutual understandings that we put our dealer’s flags on our Global Village Dealer Map to form a worldwide winning team.