Buying “like for like”. A man in a beauty store

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Not the easiest task ever. Not for everyone. And still, very often procurement people face the task of “buying like for like”: according to the sample, according to the picture. This weekend reminded me that.

Imagine small company – family. Imagine very demanding operations department (woman). Imagine a man, representing procurement department. And a requisition to buy “like for like”, with a sample provided. Let me tell you again, it is not an easy task. Not always. Especially, when it comes to a (typical) man, buying cosmetics (come on, Ricardo, you didn’t really expect me not to write about this, did you???).

It’s lazy Saturday morning and I realise, that I cannot leave home (I mean, I can’t really even leave the bed), because I ran out of eye liner. You know, ladies, one of those days – when any excuse to stay in bed is good. And running out of eye liner is something of a size of snow in the middle of August in Lisbon. Anyway, my partner agreed to stop by at Boots on his way that morning. To be safe, I handed in a sample of exactly what I wanted. There is nothing, that can go wrong, you think? Oh well, think again.

The sample was black tiny bottle of specific brand, specific color, specific functionality (waterproof) eye liner. The bottle was black. My partner came home two hours later, with a big smile on his face, handing back a golden color (!!!), same manufacturer, completely not waterproof eye liner… There I was – standing silently, looking at a completely wrong (in my opinion) bottle, completely happy partner’s face and trying understand, what and why went wrong. Now it seems funny – I simply did not explain, what is the most important. Also, did not think about how really hard he would want to help me in such a disastrous (running out of eye liner!!! OMG!!!) situation. It turns out – the shop ran out of the item, and the shop assistant offered “closest match”. I bet you get loads of that from your suppliers?!

It was not funny at the begging. But then I thought of all of the moments, when MY technical department stakeholders were looking at me silently just like I was, just a moment before. Yup, buying “like for like” is not easy. Needless to say, I did not mention the liner again…

Easy morning to everyone! Thanks for reading!

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Buying “like for like”. A man in a beauty store

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