Thursday, July 5, 2012

Specification of a product while purchasing

Let us take a simple item, a ball point pen.

Suppose the Purchase Officer in a company is asked to indent for ball pens. He has to consider
the usage of the pen, to whom it is being issued, etc. Because there are pens available from 5 Rs.
onwards going upto 50 Rs. and even more.

He may have to compare the price between suppliers. While comparing an item we often hear
the words, compare Apple to Apple.

Yes, but these days we have to remember that there are so many varieties of Apples sourced from
different places. We have to compare a Washington Apple with a Washington Apple!!

Some one wanted an I-Phone. No problem. But, which colour do you want? Black or Silver? 4S?
8 or 16 GB? A few questions have to be answered before the item is bought so that the person gets
exactly what he wants.

Talking of specifications, sometimes it is sufficient if one says, generally conforming to ISS No. xxx.

Coming back to ball-pens, I was surprised to read recently about the Skilcraft ball point pen manufactured to the specifications of the U.S. Government. These pens are manufactured by blind workers in factories
in Wisconsin and North Carolina as part of a 72-year-old legislative mandate. The original 16-page specifications for the pen are still in force: It must be able to write continuously for a mile and in temperatures up to 160 degrees and down to 40 degrees below zero!!

You will find the original article about the Skilcraft pen here:

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