How Much Are You Paying For USB Flash Drives

If you’re in the UK Ministry of Defence and you buy USB flash drives then how much are you paying for them - £10, £50, more?

With news breaking today that the MOD have paid £22 each for light bulbs that can be purchased less than £1 and £103 for screws that are believed to be for sale on-line for a mere £2.60 it raises serious questions about the MOD’s procurement process.

Described by Defence Secretary Liam Fox as "inexcusable" and evidence of a waste of taxpayers' money whilst under the control of the previous Labour government and went on to say that "We are already tackling the procurement problems we inherited head-on. When money is tight and we need to protect the front line, waste is inexcusable.”

The same arguments could equally apply to some other Public Sector Departments where common sense in the Procurement Process seems to have been lacking or at the very least seems to have been paid lip service to.

Our plea to such organisations is to shop around, go out to tender or just get several quotes before committing to buy, Yes, this takes a little bit longer than just issuing a repeat PO to the same supplier but this is how most commercial businesses operate and they do it for good reason – they want to ensure they are getting the best possible value for the money they spend and they want to keep their current suppliers on their toes!

It’s not difficult and any extra time it takes is typically more than offset by the savings made.

USB Light Bulb USB Light Bulb

Sourcing USB Flash Drives is no different. Make sure you get several quotes, make sure you are comparing “apples to apples” but equally don’t get suckered in and pay a high price for “extras” you don’t need. Whilst the MOD might need Flash Drives with high strength data encryption to protect any data stored on the USB flash drives there are plenty of specialist companies that can offer these now the NSA have relaxed the rules on the export of AES-256 bit encryption.

Equally, don’t pay premium prices for flash drives with encryption on if all you’re planning to do is use them as part of a promotional recruitment campaign when 512MB flash drives can be bought for as little as £1.99 (printed and data-loaded).

The guiding rule needs to be “common sense” and a willingness to apply it.

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