There was a time that purchasing electrical products overseas was worth the lengthy delivery times, dealing with the product failures and unhappy customers. For many large OEM’s stateside, even the risk of lawsuits caused by faulty wire outweighed the expense of buying here in the USA. Let me assure you that time has passed.
Despite economies of scale, prices have continued to rise over in the Pacific Rim, while simultaneously quality has continued to deteriorate. Scheduled delivery isn’t even guaranteed. One particular cargo company left 89 ships at sea for months last year to evade collections, which in turn left thousands of TONS of consumer goods in limbo and vendors scrambling to fulfill their obligations to save multi-million dollar accounts.
Purchasing agents still presume that buying overseas is going to provide savings to them and allow for a greater markup. The truth is buying here in North America is more economical in the long run. Providing quicker service, a better quality product, and ultimately making your customer confident in your company, has greater returns than the pennies you might save purchasing from a foreign manufacturer.
The major advantage of quality is safety, which is a benefit that you can’t put a value on; saving lives. One only has to look at the number of house fires during the Christmas season to see the effect of “inexpensive” wire on the American people. Why do we not cherish our homes, our families, our lives over saving pennies on twinkly lights??
And what about replacement value?? If an inferior product has ¼ the life of a quality item, in actuality, it costs a minimum of 4x your initial investment. Say you can choose between purchasing a coiled cord for $25 from China or $100 from the USA. The American cord has a 4 year life cycle, the Chinese cord 1 year. Over a 4 year period, not only will your customer have to purchase 4 cords from China, they will also have to pay shipping 4 times and pay their employees to install 4 cords and remove 3. Additionally, there may be lost production time. This is expensive and inefficient, but hey at least you saved a few cents in year 1.
It is our responsibility as distributors, manufacturers, builders, engineers, architects, tradesmen, etc. to provide our customers with the best value for their dollar. But first, we must understand the difference between worth and price, for they are very different animals. And a lower price is never worth compromising the value of our customer’s lives or livelihoods.
There was a time that buying overseas seemed cost efficient and that time has long passed. A new era is here where investment matters more than initial layout and you are leading the way.
Autac Inc was a Silver Sponsor for the HITS (Horseshow’s in the Sun) Winter Series in Ocala Florida. HITS Ocala is a 10 week series that includes the FEI World Cup (7countries participated this year, US won Silver) and culminates with a $1 Million dollar Grand Prix. “The series attracts some of the most successful business people in the world. We saw an opportunity to get Autac’s name on the radar of these decision makers and simultaneously support this exciting sport.” Autac Inc will once again work with HITS during the Summer series in Saugerties New York. “The HITS organization really provides great international exposure over a ten week period that costs less than we normally pay for 14 hours of face time with clients at a trade show. Plus we get to invite our customers to come and experience the competitions which gives them an exciting afternoon and gives Autac the opportunity for quality one on one time. Everybody wins.”
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