Open Letter to Clients

From the Desk of:  Sam C. Chan


November 21, 1998

Dear Friends:

This is an open personal letter, sharing my thoughts with long time loyal clients. Iím writing to you as Iím flying back from another exhausting week of Comdex in Las Vegas. I get most of my inspirations during flights and long driving trips, especially this time: Itís my 36th birthday today. 3 dozen years in this world and itís The Year of The Tiger once again. Since I came to this country at age 18, I have just now crossed over that halfway point, having spent exactly 50% of my life in America.

This is a time to reflect, a time for personal growth, a time of awakeningas Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) did at exactly my age (on a much grander scale). An interesting milestone, indeed!

Speaking of that, it seems that I have started a romantic relationship at each of my past milestones, at age 18 and 30 respectively. At this rate, you will be well advised to start saving up for my next major milestone: Have my combined wedding and over-the-hill present ready!

Photography & Graphic Design

In the past year, I have invested thousands of dollars and countless hours to indulge in the joy of photography and graphic design. I have always been active in those areas from my childhood to early college years. All of a sudden I felt the urge to get back in touch with my creative side. Only this time around, with a digital twistand what an immensely satisfying treat it is, with all the marvelous tools available today.

For those of you looking for a safe, harmless, family compatible and politically correct form of mid-life crisis activity, I do highly recommend it. (Yes, mine must have come a bit early). This is also rapidly evolving into a business specialty for me.

Another new hobby of mine is MP3 audio. Technology IS FUN! Check it out! This is another field on the verge of explosive growth in the mainstream population.

Accountability, Competency & Efficiency

For those of you who have not yet noticed that wall plaque next to the reception desk. I have been promoting what is known as my Bravo A.C.E. Principals:

 ďI firmly believe that majority of problems found in government agencies and private sectors are rooted from deficiency in one or more of these three areas. Conversely, excellence is achieved by vigorously addressing all 3 of these areas.

All policies, procedures and mechanisms of this organization must be in accord with our ACE Principles. Further, whenever practically feasible, we shall promote such practice and educate our vendors, clients, partners and society in general on such concepts.Ē   -SCC, Summer 1992

Growth Review

I can remember clearly the early days when I started The PC Specialist 14 years ago. I was a poor graduate student at RIT with an entrepreneurial spirit and very low overhead, struggling to gain business. Today, Bravo Technology Center has its own identity and unstoppable momentum, along with substantial investments and operational expenses. During the same time, I have also witnessed the growth and changes in many of you.

In retrospect, the past 5 years have been a perpetual state of severe backlogs. It resulted from a combination of growing pains experienced by the business, and an unfortunate sequence of events in my personal life. Today, Iím older, wiser, stronger and more mature.

For the record, I acknowledge that you should not have to practically beg for me to start your projects, nor should you be the victim (increased lead time) of my success, which you helped to create. To my credit, however, I can say that Iíve never left my clients ďhanging.Ē I have always been known to respond to urgent problems first (regardless of whether itís billable or contract covered), and new sales and projects last. Iím also regarded as one who is so good that I actually know clearly what I donít know, why I donít know, and what it takes to know. You have come to depend on my comprehensive knowledge, sensible approach, refreshing perspectives, technological visions and personal integrity. I vow to continue all that.

Efficiency & Better Communications

Drastic changes to improve overall efficiency are in order. Specifics will be announced shortly. Many of you were inconvenienced by my notorious delay in sending out invoices for services. I have created The Pledge of Timely Billing (enclosed) to address that issue. Obviously, the losses resulted from some older items getting dropped did hamper our growth slightly. Never again!

Email has become the preferred method of non-urgent communications. See my upcoming memo on communications for an in-depth analysis of and tips on that topic. The pilot web site, which currently serves mostly as a pricing update front-end to the ftp directory for our reseller clients, will soon turn into a full fledge communications tool, utilized heavily by all our clients on a regular basis.

Improve Utilization & Leverage Time

As many of your already know, my current billing ratio is between 1:3.5 and 1:4. Last year alone, I have logged over 58 seminar and convention days. In addition, I spend on average 4 hours daily reading and otherwise staying current in all media. There are also the weekly ďmad scientistĒ hours, where I research and experiment with new products or create new solutions. I must improve the utilization of my knowledge. There are far too many services and expertise that were never communicated to you.

Civic Duties & Community Services

In order to not spread myself too thin, I have resigned from the board of the Greater Rochester Chapter Junior Chamber of Commerce last year. I have also completed my 3rd 2-year terms on the board of Rochester Chinese Association. I am currently serving a second 2-year term on the board of directors for SUNY Brockport College Foundation.

Business Road Map

In 1999, I will restructure my company into 5 distinct divisions, all under the new entity: Bravo Technology Group, LLC, each with its own identity, policies and terms & conditions. This will facilitate the eventual sale and merger of some divisions, and full/partial delegation of day-to-day operations. As I gradually transition myself to the executive management and senior technical roles, I will be able to better focus on what I do best. That should result in more cost effective and dependable services for you.

There will be more formal policies in place. Existing ones will now be implemented and enforced. A month electronic newsletter will serve as our vehicle of communications. The unbundling of sales and services I initiated 10 years ago will continue to be refined to better adapt to the changing marketplace. A more comprehensive schedule of flat fee and contingency fee services, as well as rental service items will be published. Our dedicated server line with PMS will debut nationally under the ďEncore!Ē brand. More details will be available after my annual 2-week sabbatical from Dec. 19 to Jan 3.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart, for all your support over the years. As I always like to say:

Success is a journey, not a destination.

And, what a journey it has been! As I eagerly anticipate the next exciting year and the new millennium, I sure hope that you will continue to be there to share it with me.

Yours truly,

NOTE: This was originally hand-signed & sent via USPS. There was no graphic signature in the original document file.

 Sam C. Chan

p.s. Please pass this letter on to the office manager, the designated primary contact person, and the in-house system/network administrator.


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