Reflecting on Dataflow
I agree that there is a dilemma in deciding whether to feel sorry for Jeffrey Tobias or to say that he got his just desserts (ARN 9th August, page 1).
On the one hand, this company had been a customer of Dataflow since day one and had a mutually beneficial relationship up until a few years ago. It was a great relationship - we were both loyal, they had the stock we wanted, you could talk to a person and we both made money.
Then, in the name of progress, it all changed. Dataflow established what we saw as an unlevel playing field with mass retailers, thereby destroying their part of the loyalty bargain. Stock became hard to get and you could not talk to anybody. Orders were lost or delayed and the whole thing became unstable. Dataflow was unrepentant and we changed our business focus because of it.
There are only two things that matter in business - supply and margin. Many other manufacturers and distributors should learn from Dataflow's demise.
Country Computer Services
I am writing to let you know about a disgraceful situation which exists in the computer industry.
My name is Craig Webster, I own C&T Systems in Taree and I have been in business for 13 years.
I recently purchased an HP E200 Netserver. I installed Windows NT Workstation. The network card did not work correctly. I suspected the drive. I tried to install the NT driver off the setup disk supplied by HP. It would not load onto NT workstation.
I rang HP tech support and was told I had to use NT Server to get it to go. HP only supports a server operating system on a server computer. What a load of crap. I should be able to load any operating system, and while HP does not have to support it they should be able to tell me where to get drivers. Despite me pleading with them to help, they would not assist at all.
I have seen this attitude before from big companies - Commodore and Osborne spring to mind - and we all know what happened to them.
This failure to support your sales team will eventually see the sales team move to a different company. Once it happens often enough, there is no one left to sell the product, END OF STORY.
Sure, I may only be a small rural retailer, but the writing is on the wall. Once the supplier loses contact with reality, the end is near. It may take years but eventually it will happen.