I apologize to my readers because when I write blogs about actual occurrences I don’t think I should use the names of the companies and people involved. However, if you have been in my industry or the restaurant business for a while you may know or can find out. For the others, it can be a good learning experience.
April 5, 2012, I wrote a blog titled “Will the VARS Disappear?”. At that time one of the major LCD screen suppliers were selling direct to the end user, although it was confusing because they told their resellers (or VARS) they weren’t and their customers they were. Since then, that LCD supplier has sold many major projects and with very little research you can learn they got into trouble and lost all or most of those projects because of poor service. I can provide you with a list.
Just recently two other major LCD screen suppliers eliminated their VAR’s and sold a major QSR chain directly. It’s the same chain I wrote my last blog about (How RFP’s Really Work). This event raises some major questions as follows:
- Will both these suppliers lose the business because of a lack of service, as the supplier mentioned above has? I don’t think the suppliers have a good enough knowledge of how a franchised QSR chain works and the amount of service they will require. The suppliers don’t have the program or project managers required to run the projects and the QSR chain does not have them either. These people are usually with the VAR handling the project.
- Will this set another trend in our industry where all major QSR chains will be sold directly by the LCD suppliers without VAR’s? Only time will give us the answer to this question. I’m convinced there will be major problems but we will have to wait to see how these problems are overcome.
What makes a lot of sense to me is to watch what everyone else is doing and learn from their mistakes and successes. It’s odd that no one seems to do this. The purchasing people did a great job on the project mentioned above but will they get a product that provides a decent ROI? I don’t believe they will but no one seems to be looking at that.
There are outdoor digital menu board rollouts going on now at two major chains. One is going smoothly while the other has huge problems. What’s causing the problems? A little research will answer that question and prevent it from happening again.