Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Inefficient customer goes bust

A customer of ours, Nationwide Facilities, has gone into liquidation. This was a strange customer: they had some quite impressive contracts servicing corporates and retail chains, and subcontracted the work to us. But they were such hard work to deal with, we could never understand how they had persuaded these companies to entrust them with their maintenance contracts.

Our preferred method of processing a job request is as follows: receive instructions(usually phone call/e-mail, or fax if you are living in stone age); schedule job; do job.

Pretty simple.

But some people make it a whole lot more complicated, and Nationwide was one of those. Typical process would be: receive conflicting, incomplete instructions; clarify instructions; try to reach contact person on site to schedule job; contact person has no idea who we are; revert to Nationwide, receive amended instructions; etc. etc, you get the idea.

This didn't just create a whole load of extra work for us, but obviously created a whole load of extra work for themsleves. Which might explain why they went into liquidation: they were presumably making a few pounds off each job, but spending tens of pounds on administering each job.

To their credit one of the two directors appears to have put the company into voluntary liquidation while there was still a reasonable amount of cash in the bank, so we will probably be paid most of what we are owed, which is nice.

PS - Googling them reveals a whole load of companies with similar names, so to avoid accidentally libelling anyone, I am talking about Nationwide Facilities of SW18 4PZ.