Selling real estate

In the pharmacy marketplace suppliers control some POS technology to help push their systems. In the GP marketplace drug companies control surgery management technology to ‘facilitate’ helping doctors. In the radiology marketplace you have a film maker providing business management technology.

In the 1980s in the US American Airlines made more out of its booking system than from flying planes. They were one of the first companies to realise the gatekeeping role of IT systems and the money which could be made from gatekeeping services.

Doing favours for suppliers in this way, selling realestate on your POS screen or directing users to one company over another bothers me – especially in the independent retailer sector. There is no such thing as a free lunch. They’ll get you one way or another.

Small business technology users need to be able to trust the results from their systems and I’d suggest they cannot do this if the systems are controlled by a supplier. They are better off paying the price – this keeps them in control.

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