Dealership and its smell of territoriality

It was my national youth Service year, that morning I drove my mums Peugeot 504 and was on the way to my community development project, suddenly there was a loud deafening noise, the noise was that of a broken exhaust pipe, boy… it was loud! I naturally would have continued but could hear a hanging broken part being transported with the car, if I know my mum well, then I am super sure that I will have to fix this one from my corper “allawi”. So as not to increase my expenses I had to park to fix or at least remove the broken part for safe keeping. I found myself parked in front of a military cantonment, on realizing this fear gripped me, then remembering that I was in full corper uniform I calmed a bit, I found a rope from the abandoned NITEL pole a stone throw away but now need something sharp to cut this with, it had some metal inside and this seems a perfect tie, but in this case invisible threads wasn’t that perfect -laugh. I mean, I see what I need yet it’s so out of reach. Now a soldier was approaching, I have surely overstayed my time in his territory. I sense he was coming to chase me away, I went to military school so I am wise enough to know that you must obey a military man’s last order. But today he smiled, corper shun! I replied good to go, good to go, good to go sir! He brought out a set of plier and cut a long enough cable from the bunch I had been eyeing, handed it and said just tie it up. Be fast or you will be late for parade. Smiling, he walked back to his post. I hurriedly tied the broken exhaust, ensuring it won’t give way till I get to the mechanic. I shouted out to the officer – Permission to fall out sir! He replied “carry on gallant corper”. As I drove off it brought back memories of military school. “Soja’s” are territorial and they are not ashamed to show this was my conclusion.

Territoriality is a term associated with nonverbal communication that refers to how people use space (territory) to communicate ownership or occupancy of areas and possessions… I painted a picture of the military barrack because we can all relate that it is impossible to misbehave around there. What you see as you approach is order and structure, cleanliness, professionalism, a gate –manned by armed men, properly dressed and usually very cautious personnel. Back to printing, I have a few questions for dealers and distributors of printing products, machinery and consumables. Are you permitted to take care of the territories you claim you are taking care of? Why does the average printer prefer to deal directly with the manufacturer? Dealers have however been accused of making big profit, some dealers have also been labelled monopolistic and shrewd. I guess the accusations stems from the fact that as some printers go round the world, they are always directed back to the dealer, simply because he has a right to sell and manage the growth in that territory. We only need to educate the generality of printers about the benefits of working with a dealer, some of them are as below; 1. Warranty: full manufacturer’s warranty is usually passed down from supplier to end user. Even if you get a warranty for buying without the dealer, you will only get a warranty on parts, wouldn’t it be safer to have a warranty that also covers labour? Handled by a trained personnel? 2. After sales support: Personally I think you shouldn’t buy from anyone who is not available to support you, there will always be teething problems with any technology and it just feels cool if someone can hold your hands through the period. Factory trained engineers are a big advantage and dealers usually have this. 3. Product integrity: Any dealer who wants to remain in the market is saddled with the responsibility of building the integrity of their product, no dealer wants a bad name, so usually dealers will go out to benchmark and be sure that the product will work in his territory. Imagine selling a luxury car without air conditioning in a hot and humid climate. 4. Someone takes responsibility: when you go alone you are fully responsible for your actions, but going through dealership means that someone must be responsible to ensure that what is supplied will deliver what it promises. 5. Value chain creation: According to investopedia, in trying to help us understand what the purpose of the value chain is… “Because of the ever-increasing competition for unbeatable prices, exceptional products, and customer loyalty, companies must continually examine the value they create in order to retain their competitive advantage. A value chain can help a company to discern areas of its business that are inefficient, then implement strategies that will optimize its procedures for maximum efficiency and profitability. The competitive edge you create in patronising a dealer is that you can focus on selling while the dealership help you worry about how equipment are deployed and how they run. Even the holy book says “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s – Matthew 22:21 Dealership should be a blessing not a curse! But again, what do I know? Thoughts from: Akin Oduwole CE @ Technology Global

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