Independents have been having somewhat of a revival over the past two years, namely due to the pandemic and Brexit but also thanks to consumers wants and needs for a higher level of customer service, the opportunity to be able to speak to someone and the need for a more sustainable product offering. Managing Director and Founder of Polypouch UK, Stephen Frankel explains why you should consider going independent to improve the logistics of your business.
While large scale companies may be able to compete on price and range, their ability to adapt quickly can be hindered by copious amounts of red tape and policy. Thankfully, independents pull their own strings, enabling them to make decisions faster and adapt to current conditions far quicker.
Here are three benefits of choosing an independent:
1. Quicker lead times
When working with an independent your business is incredibly important to them and you’re likely to find that the lead times to which they can turn things around are significantly quicker. This can be helped by a faster payment process, the ability to talk to a team member and organise everything in one go and the ability to place small batch orders.
When the pandemic hit, it was independents that were able to adapt quickly. From local coffee houses delivering coffee and food or simply opening up a hatch for those to collect on their daily walk.
The benefits of not having to go through multiple departments for sign off, having a smaller team and being able to pick up the phone all save time which in turn saves money. It’s worthwhile considering this when a deal with a larger firm comes with a longer lead time. Those extra few days can end up costing more than the cost difference of using a local independent.
2. Personalised service
The personal service you receive from an independent offers such huge return on investment. Knowing who you’re working with, knowing their lead times and knowing that they ‘get’ you as a business is worth its weight in gold.
For an independent, you’re more than just a client, you’re Sarah or Bob or Colin. You’re known by name, you’re recognised and you’re hugely appreciated.
It’s really noticeable when as an independent you work with a large company on a project. There’s almost a shock response when you say, do you want a quick call to discuss this, rather then we’ll come back to you via email.
Independents really can capitalise here by providing exceptional levels of personalised customer service. This non, ‘one size fits all’ approach will set you apart. You become unique in your field and your reputation for people that do, will precede you.
It’s true to say that independents will be incredibly loyal to their customers . You want to know you’re getting the best, from the best deal to the best quality. You also want to know that your competitor isn’t also getting that deal. Independents have the luxury of choosing who they work with, they can ensure they’re not working for competing companies and they can build a real sense of loyalty.
The value of your business also brings with it the want to perform, to deliver exceptional customer service, to achieve what’s set out and to remain consistent.
And loyalty works both ways, if a business is receiving great customer service, price and loyalty, why would they go anywhere else. They’re also highly likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
Without doubt, larger companies have their place and for some transactions or implementations, they are the only way to go. But let’s still try to champion the independents and ensure they remain the backbone of the UK and global economy.