Buyers sometimes only buy from vendors whose names appear on “Approved Supplier Lists”
published by large companies or “advisory” bodies. Before following recommendations
from such lists, we recommend that the past records of the “advisors” are checked
to see if they have ever been penalised for uncompetitive practices, possibly suffering
from the imposition of punitive fines. Also, it is advised that the track record
in glass shop management or glass software development, of the “advisory” company’s
staff is checked out. The story of the Emperor’s magic suit of clothes isn’t just
a fairy tale. Buyers are frequently being hoodwinked in the real world.
We were once asked by a consultant working for a Trimloss customer, to give a short
overview on the workings of our system. It transpired that this consultant not only
knew nothing about production software, but also knew nothing at all about the glass
trade. The amount of our detailed knowledge and vast experience that we were able
to impart within a couple of hours was severely limited and yet the customer proceeded
to listen to this consultant’s advice in preference to our own. It transpired that
this consultant was part of a total financial and support package from a government
Quango. As we expected, the Trimloss customer eventually went into liquidation as
did another company who listened with preference to the advice from the same consultant.
Whenever financial inducements via government training or development grants are
involved, objective assessment of the quality of the advice, is often seen as a very
low priority. Non objective assessment of the quality of advice can also happen
when there is private funding. Another Trimloss user was once tempted by a huge
private investment package which came with its own advice. It took only just over
twelve months before the receivers went in to try to recover a toxic debt of around
£1.5 million. Ouch!
As stated in the “About Potential Customers” page, our software is only one part
of a successful glass shop operation. Failure to follow all our recommendations
can, and usually does, lead to increased material and labour costs, longer customer
lead times, wasted shop floor space and poorer product quality.
Finally, it is advised that any potential software supplier is also checked to see
if legal judgement has ever gone against them, following allegations of illegal software
sales. Such judgements may have been given when operating under a different company
name. One such company is very successful at winning new customers, only to instigate
poor management and shop floor systems which helps these customers disappear with
monotonous regularity around 12 months later.
It is now questionable, whether inappropriate advice from either government or private
bodies, is contrary to European and UK anti competition legislation, breaches of
which in the glass trade, have resulted in punitive fines on several companies and
on several occasions.