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By | Keith Warburton 17th May 2005 08:17

CFL Computer Systems: why it went bust

Mean time before failure

Comment PCA Member CFL Computer Systems of Cowbridge in Wales fought hard to stay in business, but couldn’t overcome a triple whammy of blanket failures of Fujitsu disk drives, then of a particular brand of motherboards, and then of a specific make of power supply units.

Bob Lewis, ex PCA Chairman and director of CFL, reckons that call-outs to customers rose from a half-dozen a week to over 90 at the peak of the problem, which swallowed human resource as well as money.

When we spoke to Bob late last year he reckoned that these issues had cost the company about £300,000. As a well-respected member of the system builder community, he was extended a great deal of help and support by his creditors, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the crushing burden of these serial problems, and CFL went into receivership in mid-March.

Centerprise International, the Basingstoke-based corporate and trade system builder and distributor, stepped in and bought some of the assets of CFL. It has reassured customers that it will also pick up their warranties.

Having taken on the rump of CFL’s staff – including Bob Lewis – to run out of its Welsh factory – things are looking up for the PC business in Wales.

In March 2003 Centerprise, aided by a grant from the Welsh Assembly, said it would hirr 300 people starting in the summer of that year, to staff a new factory in Caerphilly. It is understood that until now few of those planned jobs have materialised.

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