Who Will Clean the DoA Mess?

The DQWeek (Delhi) - - CHANNEL BONANZA -

and war­ranty re­place­ments are is­sues that deal­ers and part­ners across the coun­try have now ac­cepted as part and par­cel of the IT busi­ness. Ei­ther they take them into their stride and go on or they com­pletely move out of the IT busi­ness al­to­gether. Most of them com­plain that the rea­son this has be­come a prob­lem area is be­cause ven­dors are not defin­ing clear poli­cies on ei­ther of the above is­sue. To add to it, dis­trib­u­tors in­sist that they can act only in ac­cor­dance to ven­dor poli­cies, which means that the part­ners are left in the lurch as far as find­ing am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tions are con­cerned. There are as­so­ci­a­tions who of­ten take up cud­gel on be­half of their mem­ber part­ners, but in the face of com­plete non-co­op­er­a­tion from the ven­dor side, it's not much that they can do.

DoA and war­ranty re­lated prob­lems have been trou­bling part­ners now for years. The prob­lems here are mul­ti­ple—for one, most ven­dors do not have any clearly enun­ci­ated poli­cies or frame­works on this as­pect; and ob­vi­ously as a rea­son of that there is no clar­ity in com­mu­ni­ca­tion about these poli­cies to the part­ners; and in case of prin­ci­pals where some sort of poli­cies or frame­work are in place, there seems to be par­tic­u­lar lack of in­tent and in some cases brazen in­dif­fer­ence and non­cha­lance to honor the words of these poli­cies.

This state of af­fairs is not just abysmal, but shock­ing to say the least and smacks of an en­tirely cal­lous at­ti­tude from lead­ing ven­dors and the way they con­duct their busi­nesses here in In­dia. So what should be done to al­le­vi­ate the sit­u­a­tion and make ven­dors see rea­son be­hind adopt­ing well de­fined poli­cies and mak­ing them clear to the chan­nel part­ners as well as hon­or­ing them in both words and spirit. For one, the dis­trib­u­tors have an im­por­tant role to play here, which many feel, right now they are not ful­fill­ing to the ex­tent pos­si­ble or de­sired. Most part­ners ac­cuse the dis­trib­u­tors of not un­der­tak­ing re­place­ment of DoA goods and not help­ing them enough to de­liver on cus­tomer re­quire­ments quickly as far as DoA cases were con­cerned.

Dis­trib­u­tors, on their part, feel that most deal­ers are not aware of the cor­rect ven­dor poli­cies as far as DoA and war­ranty re­place­ments are con­cerned, and there­fore find fault with the dis­trib­u­tors. Though they agree that there are no clear-cut poli­cies on DoA and war­ranty from the ven­dor's side, but still aver that it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the part­ner to find out and know the ven­dor poli­cies. Since dis­trib­u­tors also have tar­gets and stocks to deal with, they feel they can­not keep track of all DoA and war­ranty con­cerns. Dis­trib­u­tors be­lieve they only serve as a bridge be­tween the chan­nel and ven­dors and can­not be blamed for every­thing.

While this mu­tual blame game would not lead to any con­crete re­sults, it's time that some strong ac­tions are taken. For one, ven­dors need to be more ac­count­able and should put right poli­cies in place. And to en­sure that this does not re­main only a lip ser­vice, even dras­tic op­tions like 'stop pay­ment' en­vis­aged by cer­tain part­ners should not be ruled out if it proves to be the best op­tion to get so­lu­tions for DoA and war­ranty con­cerns. Per­haps this would make ven­dors and even dis­trib­u­tors treat the chan­nel as cus­tomers and work to find am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tions. And dis­trib­u­tors, per­haps in­stead of to­tally wash­ing their hands off the mat­ter, should rather sit with the as­so­ci­a­tion and ven­dors, and clar­ify all doubts as re­gards DoA and war­ranty. But the big­gest mind­set change has to come from ven­dors; and they should take this se­ri­ously, be­fore it se­ri­ously jeop­ar­dizes their busi­nesses in the In­dian mar­ket­place.


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