[LINK] The state of e-commerce in Australia
Fri, 24 Aug 2001 10:40:50 +1100
I managed to purchase a Dell desktop PC (from their Singapore Asia Pacific
HQ website), fully specified as I wanted it, order tracked (although
payment was via bank draft in person at a National bank(!)) and delivered
with minimal fuss. I admit the discount for ordering online was a
sweetener, but the main attraction was being able to configure my order
individually - was stuck with Windows ME though....
"Rankine, Alastair J (Alastair)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>@www.anu.edu.au on
24/08/2001 03:12:39 AM
Sent by: email@example.com
To: "Chirgwin, Richard" <Richard.Chirgwin@informa.com.au>, "Link
Subject: RE: [LINK] The state of e-commerce in Australia
> I cannot endorse any of the Web business sites I've visited.
I can. Over the years I have successfully bought lots of stuff from both
big (eg www.amazon.com, www.officedepot.com) and small vendors (eg
www.eyo.com.au, www.vans.com). Since moving to the US I have gone a little
overboard (err that's putting it mildly :) ordering stuff off the net. For
the most part the deals have gone smoothly and mistakes corrected quickly,
with one big exception.
My experience with one of the poster-children for eCommerce, Dell, was just
a nightmare from start to finish. I will think very carefully before doing
business with them again.
The whole sorry story has been posted to www.resellerratings.com but in a
nutshell: they have no idea of their stock levels. I ordered an item which
was in stock according to the website but on the due shipping date I got an
email saying, in effect, "another two weeks" (an estimate which I always
equate with "we have no idea"). If you wait on hold for 20-30 mins to talk
to a salesdrone, you will be disappointed: they have no idea about stock
levels either, and instead refer you to the website!
To me it is just incredible that a major vendor like Dell cannot tell it's
prospective customers whether or not their items are in stock or not.
To relate this to the subject line: it's just as bad in the US!
> True story: interviewing a local software CEO, he complained
> that none of
> the applicants for a position he had open could describe how to commit
> transactions to a database.
Doesn't surprise me in the least. I interviewed probably 30-40 people last
year. I talked to "C++ gurus" who did not understand what a virtual method
I think in the Dell case where they have no idea about stock levels, the
fundamental problem is not a technology skills deficit. Admittedly I have a
very limited understanding of corporate finance, but even I know (mainly
from reading fool.com) that inventory control is a necessity for survival
in the business world. Dell needs to realise this at a managerial level
before they can hire the monkeys to code it.