I have found it interesting that Dell has an “Acquisition Department”. Their job is to find new business for Dell. We used to buy components from Supermicro and then build the servers that we supply to our clients. At one point we quoted a client a Supermicro server and they shared with us the price they got from Dell for a similar server and we were stunned. His cost was about 10% less than what our cost was to build a Supermicro. Our client gave us the name of his Dell rep, who I then called.
The rep interrogated me on whether we were already selling Dell, as he wouldn’t compete against another rep. He then set me up with an account and we started getting prices for all of our new server business. The pricing was always very aggressive and we sold about thirty units over a six month period, which I am sure is small potatoes for Dell.
After six months we were unceremoniously informed that we were being moved to a different group, one that would be “better able to cater to our needs.” The bottom line ended up being that pricing was no longer competitive and service was non-existent. When we had worked with the “Acquisition Department”, quotes were returned to us in minutes, and pricing was always at least 5% below what our parts cost was for Supermicro, and at least 10 – 15% less than the unit priced on Dells website.
Pricing with the new sales group was just a few percent less than what you could get at Dell’s website and service was lackluster. Quotes took days to get, orders were ignored, and four phone calls still wouldn’t get a rep to call back.
I called my initial rep back to complain and he stated that we could continue to work with him but only if the units were shipped directly to our customer and Dell would have to charge sales tax. He could not sell to us for resale. His department is only there to acquire new customers with great pricing and great service and then move them on to Dell’s standard reps.