Management Information

The Cheapest, Forget It !

Wouldn't it be great if we got get the cheapest price on everything. I know I wouldn't want it. Would you? Do you strive to get the cheapest automoblie? The cheapest mobile home to live in? The cheapest place to eat? Rather than look for the cheapest we tend to look for value for our money. We know we all work hard for our money and would like to be compensated if we are to give it up.

The first thing a buyer should look for is if he's comparing apples with apples. Any person who's been to China lately can tell you that you can find a knockoof Louis Vitton handbag for $10.00, $20.00, $50.00 and $100.00. The $10.00 bag looks good from a distance but up close you can notice it's not a real one. The $20.00 bag looks real until you see the seems. The $40.00 bag looks perfect on the outside but the inside is noticeable different. Lastly, the $100.00 bag is an identical bag that can fool even workers at Louis Vitton.

Secondly you should look for reliability. If you need the goods for a certain date and are saving 5% dealing with one questionnable supplier, think what would happen if they are late. If you run a sale on an item, advertise starting this date, and then not have the merchadise, think about the impact on your company. Your company's image is not viewed favourably, secondly the likelihood of this customer returning to your store for a future sale is unlikely and your advertising budget was wasted. Now how much was that 5% savings worth?

Thirdly, look at indirect costs. My company Solutions Ink has set up many companies on our e-commerce ordering systems for printing and promotional products. A daily dreaded routine for most large companies is ordering business cards. The time to compile a list, fax or email, receive a proof, verify with the end user, return the proof or make changes on the proof, all takes considerable time. Along with this time the idea of maintaining a data base for future orders seems like a great idea which even speeds up the ordering process further. By giving our customers instant proofing we can save them hundred of hours annually. This is one direct cost savings not usually looked at, the other is that these employees can use their time more effectively to make their comapny's more efficient and economical. The smarter larger company's have realized this, now the middle size companies are coming on board. Another example of this are cellular phones or blackberries. The direct monthly cost of these items is certainly more than finding a public telephone and putting in a few coins or buying a calling card. However the reason most people use these items is that it saves us time, allowing us to multitask other items which are more beneficial to our companies.

Fourthly, sometimes it's an emotional decision and not a purely financial one. If all companies looked only at the bottom line, no companies would have corporate suites, no executives would be driving luxury cars, their would be no Ritz Carlton Hotels, no luxury development or condominiums. If there would be none of these things life would be a lot less interesting. We could exist but not really live well. If you would like to know more about really helping your company drop me a note at

Steven Schneidman
Solutions Ink

After completing a Masters in Business, teaching Finance at a University in Montreal and working at a large Canadian Bank, i have switched gears an owned 2 Printing and Promotional Product Companies. I help large and medium companies everyday achieve their goals.

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