I’m sorry guys, long time lurker but I need to vent and I think some of you may be able to relate or offer advise. I’m hope I’m not the only one. This may get long…
We’re in year two of business. Last year this was a side gig and i treated it that way. I had the LLC but no bank account, loans, tax reseller status, nothing. Just word of mouth work for a few people; I wasn’t really keeping books or any records either. This year (January) I decided to take it seriously and make it my main gig. So I registered for tax exemption, opened bank accounts in my business name, credit cards, loans, vendor accounts, etc.
Here is my problem:
I obviously did something right, I picked up some pretty good clients right out the gate. However, my vendors are not taking me seriously. It’s almost like my clients are to big for my organization. I don’t know why but I can’t get vendors to return phone calls or process orders for me. So far I’ve ran through Insight, Tech Data, and the most recent to let me down is Synnex. It’s really weird that last year, ordering one or two laptops was no big deal. This year…, I’ve been trying to fill an order for 58 laptops for the past 6 weeks!! A mix of T490s and highly speced P1s. Even when they’re in stock my account rep will just ghost me as soon as I approve the order. Literally all 3 distributors took weeks to set me up in their systems and get me a quote, but as soon as I said approved to the quote… nothing… no email back, no invoice, no call backs; for sure no laptops at my office. At some point in the last 6 weeks, I ordered 18 P1’s directly from Lenovo.com at a very small discount, plus tax; as a work around. I received them and I figured I’ll get through this order and regroup. Lenovo cut me off from the retail channel after that purchase and told me to go the distributor route for the rest. However the distribution channel wont sell them to me either.
The order has been reduced by my client over time as they proceed to buy the systems they desperately need for new hires themselves. Now I’m down to 24 laptops that I need, tomorrow is unofficially my last day to deliver, and I just got final word from Synnex management a few moments ago that the order isn’t being filled. But no one will tell me why!! Based on conversations last week, I’m pretty sure I’m losing this client if I don’t deliver computers tomorrow, and I have nothing for them. I honestly can’t blame them as they’ve been waiting on laptops for new hires for well over a month.
I lost a different client last week after Synnex failed to process a single laptop order. I carefully explained in email that this is to replace a broken machine, someone is dead in the water and need a laptop asap. I asked for a single laptop by Thursday and provided the specs(I sent the email the previous Friday). After a whole bunch of “we’re working on it, tomorrow, tomorrow”, I get to COB this past Wednesday and they told me they didn’t have stock. No stock to fill a single laptop order?!??!? When I updated the client Thursday morning that I needed more time, they initially said OK but then called back in within the hour to cancel it. Told me they found it online and ordered it.
I’m at a total lost. I never thought this would be a trouble area for the business. I’m assuming I’m doing something wrong because I can’t imagine why any company would leave over $50K on the table like this. When I worked for MSPs before starting my own, our reps would fall over themselves to fill an order like this. I really don’t get it. What am I do wrong?