Saving our planet; one bag at a time

May 22, 2006

Match the lowest price and I’ll give you lots of business

Filed under: Branding, Environment, Jeans — Kaajal @ 8:05 am

We get many inquiries from folks who tell us they’ll give us huge volumes of business if we can match a lower price someone has offered them.

We don’t even try.

Not because we’re too cocky or very satisfied with our size or anything. No sir, that’s not it at all. We want more business and to be 100 times our size.

It’s just that we want, like all human beings, to be liked and to earn the appreciation and approval of the folks we work with.

We don’t want transactions to end with an unhappy customer who perceives us as being unreliable or making excuses or whatever. We don’t want to take any risks on that front.

And playing the price game exposes us to the risk of making our customer unhappy.

Please let me explain why.

Why do you suppose manufacturers in developing countries are more economical than those in the developed countries? If you’ve never thought about that, knowing why may help you understand why shopping for the lowest prices source isn’t always a good idea.

The primary reason we are lower priced is we lack the superior infrastructure and systems of the developed world.

Chaotic traffic

In these circumstances, we face very different problems from manufacturers in the developed world. In the developed world, “things work” as a matter of course and system breakdowns are an aberration from the norm.

Here, system breakdowns come with the territory. Being able to anticipate and “manage” manufacturing and delivery despite such events is the challenge we are required to address on a daily basis.

As a small example, we know that it will rain heavily here in from the month of July to September and that at some times during this period our roads will get flooded to the point that normal movement will be compromised for as much as 6 to 8 days at a time. We also know that despite having this knowledge our governmental systems cannot prevent this from happening.

So how do we deliver goods on time? We factor in the time and resources to work around such situations into our pricing so that our customers don’t even get to know about what circumstances we work in.

This requires maintaining an organization that is capable of doing so and that costs money.

But there are many manufacturers here who are much more optimistic than we are and are happy to do a “cost plus” pricing and cross their fingers and hope that nothing will go wrong.

That is why many Indian companies have acquired a reputation for delays and making “excuses”. The fact is that they usually aren’t excuses. They are real life circumstances that they didn’t anticipate or acknowledge, or couldn’t be predicted accurately. Life here throws up such circumstances almost every other day.

We’re not into optimism.

We work to the assumption that everything that can possibly go wrong will, and that it’s our business to cope with that and deliver the best quality within the agreed time.

Though most of our buyers are lovely folks, we don’t ask that they be concerned or knowledgeable about or even interested in our circumstances.

Anticipating and building in the required redundancies is our responsibility. Thus, our prices will always look higher than many of our competitors.

We know this. We also know that there are buyers who are as interested as we are in building lasting relationships, and that there are buyers who prefer to shop around and find the lowest priced supplier and buy from them.

We’ve positioned ourselves to appeal to the former type of buyer and we consciously let the latter kind of business go.

Let me repeat, this isn’t because we don’t want more business. Its just that our desire to be liked is stronger than that. And we know that we can only be liked as long as we please our customers, so we will never take on any work where we are not confident of being able to make our customer very happy.

So, if you’re shopping for the lowest price, I would respectfully suggest that we’re not your best bet. There will, I assure you, always be a lower priced supplier.

But if you’re looking for people whose primary goal in life is to do everything they can to make you happier with every transaction, give us a holler.

Info @ We’re itching to work with you

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