Smaller Buyers and Distributors Embrace Individuality
A new trend in individualized, bespoke services is becoming popular and affordable for suppliers.
Traditionally, large buyers and distributors have always been the favored customers of factories. They always get the good care and support they demand. At the same time, smaller buyers and distributors have been given little attention, and their voices have not been loud enough to attract attention. After all, customization, on whatever scale, always takes extra time and expense.
But that is changing. The small buyer does not need to feel abandoned any longer.
Kevin Shu (pictured), the founder of Aprint, says he is willing to meet the individual demands of small distributors. “Everyone is capable,” he said. “All they need to do is be willing and then they can find how to do it.”
“We always do whatever we can to satisfy customers,” said Shu.
One of Shu’s customers, in Italy for example, used to request a cheaper, specific gear be used in his OPC drum orders. In this way, the distributor would make more profit without sacrificing quality. At the manufacturing end, the cost of the two types of gears were almost the same. However, it doesn’t mean it is easy to meet the customers’ expectations and demands. Despite his orders being small in quantity, Shu eventually asked his drum factory supplier to work out a solution to favor and satisfy his customer.
There were other times when Shu’s customers were requesting a certain type of packaging. Ordinarily, the orders were too few to be customized. But Shu searched local factories one by one until he found one who happened to produce and supply the same type of packaging that was being requested.
Individual packaging is usually neutral for components such as transfer belts, OPC drums, Rollers, etc. Very few component factories want to customize packaging for customers. However, when required, Shu orders customized labels on behalf of his customers, and then requests his suppliers or the freight agency warehouses to stick the customized labels on the packages.
“The extra cost is not much,” said Shu. “Yes, it costs us a little more but we don’t mind paying it to gain the loyalty of our customers.”
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