There is Always Someone Cheaper.
Published - 22nd Nov, 2018
There will always be someone who will be prepared to do it cheaper – FACT! Its the old adage of “You get what you pay for” or“You won’t ever get something for nothing” or “Good isn’t cheap, and cheaper isn’t good” – there are dozens of sayings surrounding this subject and they are all very relevant to everyday purchases.
However, there is a marked difference between value and cost and both are defined through the perceptions of the buyer and seller associating these to a product and/or service. For a vendor of any sort to truly provide value to their client, they may not necessarily be the lowest cost. For a buyer/client, to extract value from a product and/or service, the expectation of the value must be defined.
Here is a question for you – what is more important to you and your customer – getting the cheapest price or getting great service and a quality product?
So what are the potential pitfalls of going down the path of cheap? Well, these vary from small inconveniences right the way through to issues that could lead to legal action. Every product has costs associated to it, and sometimes those costs are cut to achieve the cheapest selling price.
In the long run, any cost cutting will bring things like poor quality and long lead-times, plus it will undoubtedly put pressure on the customer service team and damage reputations.
All of the above affect the general operations of a business but in some extreme circumstances, they can bring on serious legal action, injury or even death.
To avert these risks due-diligence from both the client and the supplier is a must.
Knowing your suppliers is key and make sure you are working with suppliers you can trust.
What is their business set up? Do they have procedures in place should the unfortunate happen and your client reject the final order? Can you get hold of someone quickly? These should all be factors in your decision making well before the cost of the product is bought into the mix.
Previous Experience / Referrals.
If you’re new to an industry, it can be rather daunting when you are given a brief and you have half a dozen suppliers’ offering what looks like an identical product. Over time you will learn who to work with and who not to work with, but by researching the supplier via testimonials, you will be able to gauge the right company for you and your clients brief.
What differentiates the supplier from others?
A widget is a widget at the end of the day, and sometimes it doesn’t matter who is supplying it to you if the spec is the same. On the whole people will always be more drawn to the cheaper option.
At what point does the like for like product change – well it’s not the product itself, it’s the wider aspects of the supplier that make the big difference.
Does the supplier work to industry standards/guidelines or undertake recognised audits specific to their field? Are their products compliant and do they carry the required test reports? What are the suppliers Ethical and Environmental policies (if any)?
This is where VALUE comes into the mix and COST becomes a secondary aspect to the overall customer experience. You don’t need suppliers that simplypass on the responsibility. You need suppliers that take the responsibility.
If you ask these questions you will build up a better judgement of cost versus the value of a service/product. Be wary of the supplier that tries to sell you on the promise of price alone,as often there will be a surprise around the corner.
So the big question is how does Sharon Lee compare?
Let’s just get to the point – WE WON’T EVER BE THE CHEAPEST, but where we fail on regards price we gain in the added value that we can offer to you and your clients.
Sharon Lee has completed the yearly SMETA audit with ZERO corrective action, which we understand is virtually unheard of. In addition to this our core manufacturing partners have also completed their audits as well as the closing of all possible Non- Conformances.
With regards to our product range – our UK stocked headwear has been fully tested and meets or exceeds the latest chemical compliance guidelines. Where ever possible, Sharon Lee will source materials for their products responsibly. All of our Far East factories are SEDEX/SMETA accredited and our primary stock factory carries W.R.A.P and OEKO-TEX 100 Standard Fabrics. You have our assurance that your headwear will be delivered to the highest quality and with the environment in mind.
Sharon Lee also has a very robust stand on Ethical and Environmental aspects to the business and has recently introduced new procedures to help reduce the impact on the environment.
These are just some of the big headlines, but did you know we have a team of dedicated account managers who are knowledgeable and always willing to go the extra mile to get you and your customer the desired results.
We also have the ability to offer a one-stop shop for all your headwear requirements, from the initial FREE creative design aspect through to IN HOUSE branding with our Embroidery team, through to the final fulfilment services, all of which are available under the one roof.