Coloursmith Ltd have been in business for 5 years this July. During that time we have seen many changes and had successes and some failures as all businesses do. One of the recent success stories has been the development of our training and consultancy services. We are now providing these services to several major high street names and with the addition of new experts to our ranks the choice of courses is rapidly developing. Please see our website for more details.
While we have been involved in these training courses, there has been one common theme that seems to run across all the organisations we work with. The quality of suppliers is very poor, with some major failures and headaches coming across the desk most days. The second most common theme is that when something does go wrong the response from the suppliers is either non existent or very poor. The most worrying thing about this is the way that some brands accept this and almost make a joke about how poor some suppliers are.
Surely this is not good business practice. Coloursmith are a small company, relative to some of the people we provide training to, and we have recently been taking stock on our suppliers and partnerships and some of them are not working and changes will be made. So if Coloursmith can review the supply base why does a much larger business with a team of buyers and managers seem unable to do so. It is simply because its too difficult to find new suppliers? Is it to quote the saying a case of “out of the frying pan into the fire”. There must be a reason why retailers and fashion houses continue to accept poor quality that reflects on their brand. We have all made the comments that “retailer X is not as good as they once were and their quality has suffered in recent years.” Some retailers were known for their quality in the past and as a supplier to those retailers you were always nervous when the visits and the audits came in, because you knew there would be real issues if the circumstances were not right. In this global supply chain that fear factor seems to have gone. We constantly hear about a return to British manufacturing – maybe more local supply would re-introduce the fear factor and the quality of product that the retailers and more importantly the consumer wants.