Concentrate on value, not price.


Jack’s paramount teaching on pricing was “Base it on what it’s worth to your customer. Concentrate on value, not price.

Value is the yardstick by which astute buyers make their judgment on who’II get the business. The principles of what Jack’s lessons translate to in our business come down to 1.) better buying, 2.) efficient operation. and 3.) improved productivity.

  1. Better Buying: The biggest cost in custom work (as well as preprints) is for garments. It follows that buying intelligently and strategically is critical to profitability. I know that you can buy better! Look at all the internal redundancies most companies in our business commit every time they buy.Typically, they buy several times a day, frequently buy the same things they bought just hours ago or a day before, and schedule in too many shipments, which arrive in too many inefficient, overpriced, smaller, lighter car­tons.  Each call to the wholesaler takes time, and each additional purchase order’s processing takes time. Each level of redundant paperwork and order processing amplifies the time and money expended. All this clerical time becomes more costly than it should be, whether you’re doing it, yourself, or pay­ing someone else to do it. Moreover, you lose the additional time you could be spending on selling, marketing, planning, organizing, and running your business.
  1. Efficient Operation: ls there anything you can do to improve your company’s internal systems and workflow in order processing and pre-production endeavors? Significant cost savings — and faster turnaround to boot — can be accomplished by investing in upgraded business software, newer generation graphic and digitizing programs, and new communications Sure, you’ll incur some capital costs. but we all know it takes money to make money. Then again, there are probably some old geezers out there using dial telephones and assert­ing, “At least they’re paid for!”
  1. Improved Productivity: What can be done i n your shop to decorate faster and qualitatively better? Moving up to retensionable screens? Bringing digitizing in house?-or contracting it out? Buying new equipment? Using heat transfers to hand le small-quantity orders calling for multi-color prints? Most likely you’ve already got a “wish list” of things you’ve thought about getting, but either haven’t gotten around to it or feel you can’t afford it. Investing in better productivity pays for itself. Perhaps the question here should be expressed as·’Can I afford not lo make these improvements?’. Gaining yet another nickel or dime or more per item in labor savings goes right to the bottom line.

About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!