Posts Tagged Quality
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Everyone has heard of supply and demand, but any businessman will tell you that there are actually three factors that determine the lifelong saleability of a product; Quantity, Quality, and Price. Quantity is obviously your supply. That same businessman will tell you the old adage “There’s a butt for every seat,” meaning every product has a buyer you just have to find them. So there’s always a demand somewhere, and thanks to the Internet finding the ‘butt’ for your “seat” is easier than ever.
This leaves us with Quality and Price, the balancing beam of our equation and what I believe is a issue in the modern American marketplace. Years of outsourcing to the far east has acclimated us to high quantity at a low price for our high demand. The problem here is we’ve lost out on a key factor in our products, Quality. A case in point:
A brand new pair of generic boots made in China sold in a department store here in the US will cost around $40 usd. From past personal experience and the reviews of acquaintances of mine these same boots will last on average 2-3 months or if you’re lucky a year of regular wear. A new pair of similar New Rock boots will cost about $225 (Southern New Rocks) and last 5-10 years. At first glance of just the price the New Rocks seem extravagant, and my claim of five let alone ten years of life in a pair of shoes sounds ludicrous. Factor in this, those “Brand X” boots are made of materials supplied by the lowest bidder in a Chinese factory by a minimally trained underpaid worker who might make hundred’s of boots a day over a 12-18hr work day. Where as the New Rock boots are made of multiple high quality specialty leathers, natural gum rubber, and other materials from around the world by a Spanish cobbler who may make at most several pairs in an 8 hour day. Now back to the numbers. Assuming maximum lifespan of “Brand X” (1 year) and the lesser lifespan of a pair of New Rocks (5years) one would spend only $25 more over a 5 year time span. That’s about $3.33 a month for our department store boots in a best case scenario and $3.75 for our New Rocks if they only last 5 years. If the New rocks are given a best case scenario chance then that drops to $1.87 a month!
Some will argue that we’re still talking about foreign products. To them I’ll ask; how many American companies have outsourced and moved manufacturing operations to ‘cheaper’ countries? How many high quality manufacturing companies are still left in the US? The answers to those questions are often too many and not alot. This won’t change soon, but it doesn’t mean buying the New Rock boots won’t help stimulate our economy.
The example I gave above, Southern New Rocks is a small sole proprietor business based out of the rural area of Meansville, Georgia. They process almost all their orders through Paypal or Square (Both American owned companies), use GoDaddy for hosting services (American), and all their shipping is always either UPS, USPS, or FedEx (also American owned.) The only foreign companies involved in doing business with them are their product manufacturers. So the question becomes, “Is it better for our economy to do business with a large company with many foreign investors that send thousands of jobs overseas for low quality products or a small business that has 0 foreign investors, does it’s overhead business primarily with US companies, and uses a handful of high quality foreign suppliers?”
Big business won’t change their practices anytime soon and there’s few US manufacturers left for small business to buy from. Maybe the answer is quality. If more people bought high quality products from small US businesses regardless of the original source of said products than they bought cheap ‘disposable’ products from the big boxes it will keep more money here in the US but on top of that also stimulate the need and growth of more high quality US based manufacturers.