Here is the Tenth chapter of the CPU Enterprises Story which was originally sent in the CPU Autumn 2010 Newsletter - emailed out to customers on 05.12.10. Written by Peter
Looking back over the last few newsletters, it seems that I have made a couple of errors in the timing of events (the surprising thing is that I think this is the first mistake since Dianne asked me to marry her).
The Newsletters have got us all reminiscing and when we looked at some old records & files we found the internet may have started in a small way before the fashion show took place. Oops
One thing I do know is that we were both working hard doing our best to give satisfaction via a good service at reasonable prices. Dianne regularly helped knitters to solve problems with their projects, sometimes with wool not purchased from us. But that’s Dianne to a T; she would never turn away anyone who needed help to complete their knitted garments.
By doing this we built our reputation as honest helpful market traders, serving customers from around a 50 mile radius from Peterborough. Indeed we had one customer who found us by accident whilst visiting friends in the area. She lived in Sheffield and was so impressed with us and our goods that she became a regular customer, visiting us often by train from her home town. We were also increasingly asked by customers who had travelled from other towns “do we do mail order?” Several requests for this service later, my old grey cells started once more to click into place, why not? So we had a telephone installed on the stall and obtained card payment facility via NatWest streamline.
We think that it was Carole who eventually mentioned a “website” and after she explained to us “what one of them was” and that it involved computers, my legs went all wobbly, and Dianne didn’t look too good either. So I did a bit of quick thinking and made the decision for both of us and said “if you think that you can do it and it doesn’t cost much, go ahead. But I have one request; make it simple and easy to use - so much so that even I can use it”.
Now if you have read the story so far you will by now know that I am but a simple country lad who has not a clue how computer thingies work, so I am passing you over to Carole to explain how she did it (but I will check her spelling and grammar before she sends this to you). See you further down
Thanks Peter – at the time I was employed as a Civil Engineering Technician and computers had just taken over from the ‘drawing board’. My employer had encouraged us all to embrace this new technology and taught some of us how to create basic websites. Eventually I created and maintained their Intranet (internal website) and got quite interested in the process.
So, after hearing about the small, over the phone, mail order that DKY were already doing, I suggested a small website would be easier. In early 2000 we created a basic website where customers could see the colours online and fill in an order form. By the time of the Fashion Show it had been online for a while but it was not very busy. We had a Power Point Presentation about the website running throughout the Fashion Show and we believe that helped to advertise the website, which started to get busier soon after. Back to you Peter
So it now seems clear that the Fashion Show was after the start of the website. At this point I do feel I should add that the running of the Fashion Show was a full family affair. Granddaughter Lucy, and her dad Martin, did a great job giving out the leaflets etc. Carole installed a Computer in the corner of one of the stalls with the “power point presentation” about the website for customers to look through (we didn't have internet access at the stall). Dawn helped by talking to customers and, even at that early stage, selecting and bagging orders. Dianne was doing the most important job “taking the money” and what was I doing? Well I have to admit that I volunteered for the best job of all, well someone had to look after the models didn't they.
As Carole has already said, the website started to take off after the Fashion Show …… but that will have to wait for next time ….. it is past my bedtime …. I am 27 [69 !!] today you know.
Chapter Eleven of the CPU Enterprises Story