Groupe DSO was a collection of small business units that operated from 1967 to 1997 in the Asia-Pacific region. The core focus of these business units was logistic integration and consultancy.
The company was founded in 1967 by R. Milhous Hoboct, a Czech-English engineer and entrepreneur. It found some significant successes in its BSDN and Checkpoint logistics systems; however due to a number of regulatory obstacles and failed business endeavours, a decision was made to dissolve the company in November 1997.
Groupe DSO was a member of the FALO alliance, a close-knit set of companies providing reciprocal services. The FALO alliance comprised:
Groupe DSO: logistics and engineering integration
BSDN (a spin-off of the DSO BSDN business unit)
Pacific-East: legal services
SBU: financial services
The organisational structure of Groupe DSO was of a number of small business units, each with a clearly defined purpose and goal. Central financial and administrative management was controlled by a holding company named DSO Centraal.
The Bow-Scott Distribution Network, named after its creators, Ashleigh Bow and Dr. Shalain Scott, provided an integrated 'end-to-end' solution to the distribution of large volumes of data by traditional courier means.
The BSDN business unit was an incubator initiative whose aim was to provide start-up capital for DSO's core businesses: logistic and engineering consultancy. After wild success and rapid expansion, it was later spun off as a separate entity in 1979. The now-independent BSDN faced trouble in the 1990s, when company-wide computer networks and the Internet rendered its business model obsolete.
DSO Checkpoint ('Checkpoint Charlie')
After the spinoff of the BSDN business unit, Groupe DSO sought to apply its logistic expertise to niche markets. It found most success in academia, where the DSO Checkpoint system was used by many libraries for transporting books and other media between branches. Workers often referred to the system as Checkpoint Charlie due to the strict, well-documented procedures that ensured its efficiency and reliability.
The DSO CBS (Consultancy and Business Support) division provided business consultancy on leveraging technology to improve workplace logistics and operations. A large number of Indonesian clients allowed for a local subsidiary to be established, P.T. DSO Logisti.
The DSO EPI (Electro-Pyro Initiative) was a small, relatively short-lived business unit that was created in response to a government tender for safe physics teaching aids. (Himself an engineer, R. M. Hoboct was passionate about science education through practical and applied learning.)
Although the tender was not successful, this unit enjoyed moderate success with its 240 series of electricity teaching appartus; and Big Joe, a safety chamber that allowed otherwise dangerous laboratory experiments to be conducted at greatly reduced risk.
One commercial spinoff of the "Big Joe" project was the development of a highly puncture-proof design for food cans. In practice, however, these were little improvement over existing tin cans.
DSO Trabaction was a division proposed and set up by Derek Helmutiffe; a DSO employee living in Germany, and keen Trabant enthusiast. This division helped facilitate and organise the supply of Trabant parts to enthusiasts across Western Germany, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and German Reunification. After Helmutiffe's migration to Australia in 1995, the division closed.
Groupe DSO was a minor sponsor of Ukyo Katayama's Tyrrell Formula One car in .
- van Dort, J., "DSO Begins Indonesian Connection". The Age. February 11, 1985.
- "Trabaction: Trabi-Werke aus Australien?". Trabi-Magazin. August 1992.
- Savage, I. J., "Groupe DSO Fades Away". Herald Sun. November 12, 1997.