I have avoided contentious or political posts so far but cannot sit on my hands over this one.
Yesterday I received an email from QinetiQ – as a “valued supplier” (sic) – saying that their standard payment terms have been increased to 60 days from 30 and that “this change is in line with the terms of payment for many other companies”.
Fortunately QinetiQ is not a major customer so this change will not affect me significantly. But many small companies are dependent on large organisations such as QinetiQ. Arbitrarily changing terms in this way can make a serious dent in cash flow and in some cases may be enough to take a business under.
Whether I can still count QinetiQ as a customer is probably a moot point after this posting. Whether I would want to count them as a customer with such aggressive terms and conditions is an entirely different matter.
Government policy on payment terms is quite clear; it’s 30 days but departments are encouraged to pay SMEs within 10 days as can be seen from the link below:
Perhaps QinetiQ should be reminded of their genes.
So there we have it. It’s when times get tough that you discover how important espoused core values such as integrity and team work really are.
Perhaps it’s just me, but this does look a bit misguided and misaligned.