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When Is It Time To Say Goodbye To A Customer?

On Monday, GAWDA’s Consultants held a forum to provide regulatory updates to members. I am amazed at the incredible number of rules and regulations that gases and welding distributors have to know—and how many different regulatory agencies they come from (This was the first time I’d heard mention of the FAA in the GAWDA environment). Even the government seems to admit that regulations can be too complex. Back in January, President Obama ordered a government-wide review of regulations to reconsider outdated or ineffective regulations. Even though changes like this can be good, it is change. With constant change, it’s a good thing we have the Consultants.

One of the items that really stood out to me was Mike Dodd’s synopsis of a recently settled $4.5 million lawsuit against a propane filler. According to Dodd, the propane supplier repeatedly told a customer that they were improperly transporting the cylinders, and that they needed to be transported in an upright position. Regardless, when things went wrong, the company still found itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit. “At some point, a distributor may have to make a business decision not to sell to a customer that continues to ignore proper safety precautions,” says Dodd.

This raises an important question: When is it time to say goodbye to a customer? Especially in times like these, it can be hard to willingly let go of business. But when that customer puts your company at risk, it may be time. What other examples do you have of when it’s appropriate to stop doing business with a customer? Share by leaving a comment below.

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