Cost cutting lead to increased breakage and customer dissatisfaction

I got a phone call from our largest customer that the last delivery contained some broken jars. I apologized and had someone drive over with replacements.

I then asked everyone how this could have happened. The production manager said he wanted to save money and reduced the amount of packaging we were using. I told him what happened and how this wasn’t a good way to save money.  He looked sheepish and said there was 12 more deliveries with less packaging.

I made him ring each customer. We found six more broken jars.

Always know what's happening in your supply chain

I have an apparel company employing different local tailors. We were launching our next collection with a fashion show. The tailors said they would have all the clothes ready by the 1st of the month, in time for the fashion show. I was totally focused on the show and assumed all the suppliers would do what they promised.

A week before the show, I went to one of the tailors and learned that he had only completed 10% of his quota. I looked at the garments and there were serious quality issues. The zippers did not work. The sleeves were different lengths and there were not enough stitches per centimeter. I panicked.

I went to seem some other tailors and the situation was no better. They had let me down. They all said “but I didn’t hear from you or see you, so I didn’t think it was urgent,” or “someone else came in with an emergency job, so I stopped working on your order.