PI.pngVista is pushing up PC prices, recruitment agency commissions vary by as much as 100% and Couriers are overcharging for overnight services. Alan Low of Purchasing Index provided Smart Procurement with a few nuggets from PI’s latest research.


Technology – PCs: With the launch of Microsoft new operating software, Vista, companies are now starting to buy PCs which can, at a later date, operate with the new system. Prices have been ticking up in desktop PCs, as the graph below shows, mainly due to the switch to TFT screens and the more onerous memory and processor requirements to run Vista :

Laptop prices remain flat, due to increasing demand from home and small office users and a growing preference by company executives.

A recent discussion with an ex sales manager from one of the larger PC brands revealed that his old employer spends a lot of time finding out who and which model PCs they are bidding against and this shapes their offer to each client. Presumably, therefore, the less often a company tests the market, the less competitive the prices become from this supplier!

Temporary Recruitment Agencies – Agencies’ commissions vary by as much as 100% according to our benchmark reports. For many organizations temps become, de facto, permanent employees. Where temps have been with a company for, say, more than 6 months, the Agency workload, in PI‘s view, is purely administrative. Is there an opportunity to reduce the commissions?  Would the company save money by employing these people permanently? This becomes particularly attractive in a market where skills are becoming scarcer.

Domestic Courier Services – Why is it that Courier companies regularly charge more for the overnight service where delivery is the following afternoon rather than the following morning? In comparing charges PI regularly finds charges for the same service varying dramatically, larger users often pay more than smaller companies and extra costs for services like after hours delivery, Saturday service, etc can vary by up to 190%.

Alan Low can be contacted  on
Cell: +27 84 890 0005
Email: alan@pricetrak.co.za