Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
I recently had to book a hotel for a number of people - for a training event. I approached a number of local hotels and asked for a quote for dinner, bed, breakfast, teas, coffees and meeting rooms. The resulting quotes varied substantially. Since the training was for a group of school governors and the school was paying, price was important - and I selected a hotel from nearer the bottom of the price range. (It turned out to offer an excellent and friendly service.) However, a number of the unsuccessful hotel started ringing up - one on a daily basis - offering "special" offers and discounts. Now, if they had all given me a firm and fixed quote, I could have taken a decision based on sound, comparable information. As it was, I took my decision on imperfect information (though I am very happy with the outcome) and both the hotels and I wasted time in the subsequent "negotiation". I know this happens in all areas of commerce - but could not we make the whole process more effective - and more efficient - by having "firm and fair" (and open and transparent) pricing policies. Do companies really gain so much from their sharper, business practices? Or is part of the macho business culture (I am a better wheeler-dealer than the next man - and it usually is men!).