09/04/2008 - 22:00

Distribution concerns

09/04/2008 - 22:00

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It’s fascinating how newspaper journalists find whistle blowers so important for their best breaking stories. As a reporter, these kinds of sources are invaluable for obvious reasons.

Distribution concerns

It’s fascinating how newspaper journalists find whistle blowers so important for their best breaking stories.

As a reporter, these kinds of sources are invaluable for obvious reasons.

So it was with some irony that I discovered someone just like that has emerged to speak about WA Newspapers Holdings Ltd’s distribution operations.

Busselton-based Sharon Armour (pictured), who has given up a home-delivery round in frustration, has taken the opportunity that has arisen from Kerry Stokes’ attempt to spill the WAN board to nominate herself up for election.

In some ways her story reminds me of that of Erin Brockovich; someone trying to do the right thing who is stymied by the big organisation.

Ms Armour’s claims, backed up by others I have spoken to, are disturbing, but only if you are a shareholder or care about the long-term future of WAN’s flagship publication, The West Australian newspaper.

As a business observer I am simply stunned that the organisation has carried on the way these people say it has, by simply not listening to a key group of suppliers whose business depends on the success of WAN.

I remember a message on the wall of a retail outlet I once worked at reminding staff that, if you gave good service, the customer would tell a friend, but if you gave bad service they’d tell 12 friends.

The same applies to dealing with key suppliers who say they just want a fair go and they are telling everyone.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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