From the customer perspective, have we really made progress?
We are on a new path at LPS.
Our clients love what we do for them. If you, like me, have ever asked, “Isn’t there a better way?” We may have a good answer to that question.
Most of the progress in lab supply distribution that has been made over the last 50 years has been focused on the supplier’s processes resulting in broader choice and quicker delivery to an increasingly larger number of labs around the world.
Higher profits could be attained by moving customers to e-commerce. For the smaller customer there is no longer a need for a sales rep! If you have an issue, call a toll-free number, choose the right menu option and whoever andwers the phone, anywhere in the world, will solve your problem. How do the customers who no longer have a sales rep feel about these changes? What does a rep do?
1. They have some level of control over what price you pay.
2. They are an information switch board. If it is a problem that needs solved, contacting a manufacturer for a demo, getting credit They advocate on your behalf because their income depends on you buying from them.
3. For an item, the rep is responsible
Unless there is a significantly higher cost, most customers would prefer to shop where their business is highly valued, and every customer is treated as a preferred customer. Perhaps equally important, they want to deal with someone who has extensive knowledge of their products.
This is one reason why smaller lab supply distributors and resellers have seen a dramatic increase in business. There is still much room for improvement in two key areas:
These are not issues that the big distributors have failed to recognize. They are fully aware, but it comes back to size. If you have an organization big enough to recognize how much addressing these issues means to your organization financially, they have solutions. What you pay is most likely determined by the adversarial but proven RFP process. Does your organization have these resources? Is it worth devoting your resources to this indirect spending?
- - Reducing the customer’s cost per purchase order.
- - Cost effectively determining fair pricing.
LPS is addressing these issues and many others. We believe all customers, regardless of size need an advocate. We believe that there should be full transparency in customer relationships. We believe that providing the highest level of service can be done on a reasonable profit margin on products rather than charging fees for service. How do we do this? Through a proprietary software system we have developed over five years that allows us to process orders at very low cost.
We are on a new path at LPS. Our clients love what we do for them. If you, like me, have ever asked, “Isn’t there a better way?” We may have a good answer to that question.