Recently we had a salesman from a plastic distributor visit the shop. During the course of the conversation he related that they had lost a good customer. As he explained all the work his company had put into this customer it came to light that the customer had grown enough to have the purchasing power to buy direct from the manufacturers of the plastic. He made it clear that his company felt the situation was not fair on them.
Being a distributor for the plastics manufacturers his company is where companies like mine are forced to go for purchasing plastics for machining and fabrication. What is happening is his company not only being the source for plastics to industry has set itself up as a competitor to it's own customers in the arena of machining and fabrication without batting an eye. Their advantage not only comes from a material cost perspective but also learning who their customers are machining and fabricating for and approaching their customers - customers with their cost advantage. The excuse for such behavior is that the other distributors are providing these extra services so they must do as well. So the entire industry is willing to cut it's own nose off to spite their face.
In Dr. Jekyll's case he created a potion to mask or separate his destructive self. The result of the potion is Mr. Hyde a person with a moral freedom if you will. Eventually D. Jekyll finds himself becoming Mr. Hyde. In the end Mr. Hyde takes over.
In the case of the distributor we were told years ago the router was just for the Kansas City market place. They had taken a drink of the potion of me-tooism. Four or five years later the distributors sales people are actively promoting the the machining and fabricating services to the customers of their customers. The distributor has turned into Mr. Hyde without remorse.
The potion of me-toosim is a cancer that is affecting business and turning it inside out.