Help Needed - Inside Knowledge Of MoD Required

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Gazelle, Oct 31, 2006.

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  1. Ladies & Gentlemen, having retired from the Army about a year ago I was collared last week by a colleague at my new company seeking advice on how to approach the Ministry Of Defence with an offer which will benefit both servicemen and service charities.

    My colleague wishes to set up a web based 'buyers & sellers market' in which servicemen can trade with one another safe in the knowledge that they are dealing 'in house'. Users of Ebay and Amazon will know that each deal on these sites costs the seller a fortune, whereas all deals through the proposed site will be free. Obvious deals such as shranks/baby sitters/second hand cars or theatre specific goodies in far flung BFPOs spring to mind. He has the software, has cracked the security problem with a very novel suggestion and is willing to offer to make a payment to a military charity of the members' choice for each new signup.

    He would like to gain some kind of recognition from the Ministry of Defence in the same way as has been granted to the Forces Discount Brochure. I tried contacting PS10(A), but the desk officer I spoke to was unable to help directly.

    Do you have any suggestions for who I might contact to open up a discussion as to how to create a 'Ministry Of Defence Online Trader' as a benefit for all servicemen?

    Many thanks in anticipation of your assistance.

    SMC 86/3
  2. Sorry to appear negative but I can't see this business plan working at all. The MoD is vendor neutral and the Opsec & Persec issues of having a civilian holding these details is a non starter. I would imagine that your sole source of income is the 'interchange' or MSC (Merchant Service Charge) of processing a transaction. I now work in corporate banking and have been retired 11yrs and been a part timer since. I have seen many business plans where folk try to tap into the Military family. None ever took off. The bottom line is that eBay & Amazon work. Their costs prop up the massive costs of running server farms and processing secure transanctions. No UK clearing bank would have the appetite for the Bad & Doubtful Debt provision of this.

    Sorry to be negative just brutally honest.

    The reason that the old Forces Discount Brochure has the backing of the MoD is that it directly benefits servicemen have a quantifiable discount over civilians.

    Your enthusiasm is great however as you settle down into civilian life you will see how different dynamics are in the commercial world.
  3. Hi there, thank you very much indeed for your advice. Please feel free to PM me if you have any more.

    For commercial reasons I did not add in a lot more detail which would help you overcome your concerns. Suffice it to say that this business model is working very well indeed with over 1,000,000 (that's right, One Million) trades taking place on it in the last 12 weeks and several major UK companies and organisations using the channel as their primary means of internet sales. The business is well established and will be floating at some point over the next six months at a considerable profit for the owner. Before he sells up he wishes to give something back to the military community for free.

    I understand your reticence to support the venture, especially in view of the lack of information available in my short communication; however I would like to repeat my request to the wider readership of this forum, not for business advice, but rather for suggestions as to how to contact the right person in the MoD to give this great idea a chance, for the benefit of all servicemen.

    Just to make this point extremely clear....This is not being done as a profit seeking venture, but rather as an extremely generous benefit for servicemen and service charities. Any help gratefully received. May I suggest that the best means of contacting me is via pm?

    Many thanks in anticipation of your help.
  4. The MoD is also not geared to 'value for money' far too many retirement Non Exec Jobs at stake for that . I would suggest that you go via the British Legion and other service charities first.
  5. One way might be to host a site which would piggy back onto the websites and forums that the Purple use! like many of the supporters of ARRSE do!

    Direct MoD involvement would not be likely.

    The LANDWEB host a For Sale/Notice/Wanted board in which bods who have access to it can sell/buy items for the cost plus P&P. when DII a updated Computer system goes global, all will have access to the intranet site!
  6. Admag, thanks for the advice :D I am acutely aware that MoD involvement would be unlikely, however I would still like to discuss the idea with a desk officer in MoD who is able to speak with authority about the benefits offered to servicemen and women. There must be someone in MoD who authorised this:

    I would like to chat to them for 10 minutes. Does anyone know who I should contact?

    Many Thanks.
  7. who did you contact at Forces discount?
  8. Or Armynet ?
  9. why not just give it all to "combat stress" charity? sorted.