Sales, Visits, and Tenders

One of our core motivations for creating Lamplight has been to make a high quality, capable system available to charities.  We recognised very early on that most charities do not have the finances to make substantial, long term investments in technology. So we have always had a very low, pay as you go charging structure that lets customers pay for the system while they need it, but they don’t have to fund-raise especially for it.


But this approach can make tenders and sales visits difficult for us.


Imagine you are going out to tender: perhaps you invite 4 suppliers to make a proposal.  Let’s say each of those suppliers spends 2 days reading specs, producing a tender response and attending a meeting.  That’s 8 days – conservatively that’s £2,500 that the suppliers have spent to win your business.  Where does that come from?  Ultimately, you: our only source of income is our customers.  Clearly, with hosting fees starting at £20/month (per customer, not user), £2500 is a lot of money.  The same kind of logic applies to on-site visits.


We appreciate that buying a database is difficult.  That’s one of the reasons that we try to provide as much information on our website as we can (although just wanting to be straightforward is the main reason). We’ve even written a book to help you through the process.


And actually, we think our approach is better.  We really like to do online/on the phone demos of a Lamplight system.  You get to use a real system while you’re working out if it can do what you need it to.  The ‘functional requirements’ you’ve identified you can actually see, and use.  We can talk through the needs you have and identify different solutions.  And perhaps most importantly, you can judge how easy to use the system is, because you are using it.  


We’ve arranged demos with groups of people, in the same or different places, using Zoom or Teams, if you need to look with colleagues.  And if you do have more questions, then please ask us.

If you do want to go through a tender process, we will ask you some questions about your process to help us understand whether we are able to submit a proposal. Because, again, document heavy tender processes are expensive and that cost is ultimately paid by you or our other customers.