What do the networks want?

Customers of course and happy dealers!  So why is it that the networks treat dealers the way they do? 

The networks show very little regard for the indirect channel irrespective of the very high % of total connections this produces. The talk of the importance of “business partners”, “dealers”, “channel partners” or whatever the phrase of the year/network is banded about but means nothing when in reality we all feel the squeeze from the networks all the time. It is difficult to think of any other industry where the vast sums of revenue generated by dealers are treated with such contempt as the cellular one.

The lateness of the price books just illustrates the lack of planning and thought from the networks and again further antagonises relationships and the talk of stability, reducing churn, adding value and building ARPU.   It is bad business practice and an insult to dealers when the networks do not even have the courtesy to prepare a credible schedule for the start of a month’s business.

Some dealers have still got September posters in store because it takes time to get new ones designed and printed, that could be 1 week into the new month.  Also dealers need to get pricing info, with realistic handset forecasts which networks should commit to (don’t put a MDA Vario 3 on your November price book, when there’s no stock till February), all by the 24th of the previous month, so that dealers can hit the ground running on the 1st.

You would think networks would work with dealers to ensure a smooth transition from one month to the next but no!  Consistently pricing books have been late, and as we have reported before Avenir has been late time and again through no fault of their own, why?  Because they have been waiting for changes from the networks to hit their desk.  This has resulted in the final version of the pricing book being 3-4 days into the new month.

Increasingly 3 network has been at fault, late all the time, the question is why?

Let’s be sensible about this 3, even if you bring out a new tariff to rival others why leave it until the last day to issue it?  Even if you let distributors and dealers know 5 days in advance, a rival network is not going to be able to get up a tariff to challenge that in time, and on the 1st of the month it’s in the public domain anyway.  In any case you as a network must leak bits to the media as it’s always being reported by someone what’s coming in the following month, so please give the dealers a chance.

One suggestion to come out of the dealer community sometime ago which Orange said they would work towards but which has not yet become a reality, is for networks to all agree to produce pricing which is locked for a 3 month period, this would then give stability and consistency and THEN it would not matter when the price books got to you as you would be able to produce consistency and not cram connections in before the end of the month. 

Meanwhile we openly invite Sales Director Marc Allera to tell us at the IMPDA or Mobile Business Magazine why they are consistently late issuing information to distributors which causes the delay and what he intends to do about this in future so that dealers can have the information at least 3-4 days ahead so as to be ready in time.

Marc Allera has the opportunity to post his comments below, as do you; go ahead, tell the industry what you think – anonymously, if you must…

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