January 26th, 2008
By Charles Wyndham.
The only bit of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that grabbed my attention god knows how many decades ago was the sing along, ‘Hey Ho, Hey ho its off to work we go….’
I have actually been astute enough to avoid having to take any of my children to this piece of liquid goo, the price in one instant was taking my son to some Three Musketeer film far too many times whilst he successfully blackmailed me with the alternative of Snow White.
What I recall trying to avoid listening to in Snow White were those bits of the tweetie birds buzzing around our heroine, as I much more importantly, desperately tried to stop my Choc Ice (best bit of any film in those days) dripping or, disasters of all, totally disintegrating into my lap.
Anyway, Hey Ho was one of those tunes that stuck in the mind ‘earworm’ like and which I could hum to myself through the more dire parts.
What got me thinking of those halcyon days was the news that Diamdel is holding its first auction.
Whether selling by auction or tender the principle, to me, is the same though clearly the methodology is different, and most significantly totally different to the sight system.
What caught my eye in the story on PolishedPrices about the news was firstly the statement that: “Demand for some of Diamdel’s products has reached such levels of oversubscription that Diamdel now believes the most efficient way for those goods to be sold is via market-determined distribution and prices.”
Great for all to hear about the oversubscription, but odd to think that it has just dawned as to what might be the best “market-determined distribution and prices”, and notably does not allude to any continuation of some nasty old monopoly forcing sales against the grain.
Again the best bit of news is that the monopoly simply does not have the goods.
The second statement that: “DTC makes its own business decisions regardless of what Diamdel may do. DTC is of course always looking at ways to enhance its leading position as the world’s most efficient distributor of rough diamonds,” does allow me a wry smile.
This distancing of Diamdel from DTC is not new. There was a long time when despite the known reality, DTC / De Beers went through the comical exercise of insisting that all were totally separate.
Also no one I know as ever suggested that it was Diamdel telling DTC what to do, the point is that it is the other way around.
One of the first bits of rhubarb that I wrote for PolishedPrices was pointing out that the carpets in 17 Charterhouse Street were the same as in the Andimo building in Antwerp where Diamdel is based.
This claimed separation is even funnier in the context of having seen Ian White – then sales director - when head of the Diamdels pottering into either Monty Charles or Alec Barbour’s offices or better still pottering around the Belsort layouts to stake his claim for specific goods.
Whatever the lines on the company organagrams everyone knew and knows that Diamdel has been part and parcel of De Beers / DTC being totally under their control.
This actually becomes significant when what is being tried out by Diamdel is viewed in the context of what Varda Shine said at the recent clients cocktail party in London.
The DTC MD said; “….as we move into the new contract period, we will be reviewing the way in which we offer ex-plan goods for sale. At this stage, we are not ruling out any options.”
Quite clearly one option is Hey Ho it’s off a tendering we go!
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November 24th, 2008