Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Pricing in a rising market

With the current strong concerns over rising prices of fuel and raw materials, it is becoming more important than ever to be aware of market movements. There is considerable talk of pressure on margins because of rising costs, but we should never forget that some suppliers will be looking to increase margins during this time. They will rightly assume that we are expecting prices to rise - but that many people will not know by how much they should rise, and will consequently ask for a price that both covers costs and increases profits.

Perfectly reasonable, but as buyers we need to be on our toes to watch out for it.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Masouf Street

No prizes for gussing where I am - the picture shows me with a couple of delegates from our current course at Giza yesterday. Today I was wandering the back streets of Cairo, where I came across Masouf Street. This is one of those streets that provides a reminder that not everywhere is the same as western Europe - practically every shop specialised in bearings - mainly SKF and FAG (arch competitors in the same shop). At the other end of the street all the shops, which were little more than lock ups, were car dismantling and repair shops. How they all survive is a good question - though maybe it is because of Cairo driving. I have never heard the expression as scary as a Cairo taxi ride, but I would like to stake a claim if it is new. How I have not seen an accident I will never know. The way they manage to make 5 lanes out of a 3 lane highway is a wonder.

Eqyptian civilisation is 5000 years old at least, and appears to have spent most of this time perfecting the hard sell. I am considering sending my negotiation course delegates out on the street with 10 pounds and telling them to get some practice in haggling!