Bjorn Dybdahl Responds
In our September issue, columnist Ira Friedman issued an open letter to Bjorn Dybdahl, president
of San Antonio-based C-tailer Bjorn's Audio Video, regarding a column by Dybdahl that appeared
in our June issue. Friedman's letter, as well as Dybdahl's original column, are available for viewing
at www.customretailer.net. Dybdahl responds to Friedman's letter as follows.
At the risk of starting an industry civil war between the high-end custom installation segment of our industry and the rest of us "entry and mid-level install companies," I think it only fitting that there be a response to some of the misinterpretations made by you in your open letter to me.
Unfortunately, space restrictions and potential liability issues kept me from completely detailing all of the circumstances regarding our transition period in the original article. You have chosen to read more into the article than was ever there. It is disappointing to me that even after going into more detail with you personally before your letter was published that you would continue to print information that you now know is really not even applicable to our situation. I guess it just makes your article more interesting.
There are a couple of points of misinformation that I would like to clarify. First and foremost, our issue as a company was not that we were afraid of bringing in new products or product lines. We have always prided ourselves on being on the leading edge, having premiered countless new technologies over our 30-year history. Nor have we ever represented ourselves as a high-end custom installation company.
Our issue was with running in directions that made no sense for us to pursue, just because our salesman wouldn't say "no" to a request. Do we really want to be in the business of sourcing designer fabrics, artwork, sprinkler systems, et cetera, or do we need to focus our expertise on our area of knowledge? What kind of service do we provide to our customers if we have to source unfamiliar product at the eleventh hour, try to have our installers learn the product on the job site, and then have no relationship with the distributor to provide service and support when there are problems? Avoiding these situations is just a basic practice of customer service that has allowed us to grow year after year.