At Fine Cut, we're all about the customer. You'll rarely hear us saying "we can't do that" and we're very much focused on doing all we can to make you happy.
Whether that's by turning around an order in extremely tight deadlines, offering competitive pricing or simply consistently delivering exactly what you ask for, we recognise that ensuring those who use us have a reason to return is the lifeblood of our business - and by the looks of it, we certainly seem to be getting this aspect of our operation right.
One recent example of this is our relationship with a Nelstar UK Ltd, who came to our specialist Labels Direct division after their previous label manufacturer had proven themselves to be unreliable as far as sticking to their client's strict delivery schedule was concerned.
As with many of our Labels Direct customers, the issue of timescales and deadlines is extremely important to them, and we needed to prove that we could not only turn around the order over a relatively short period, but also offer pricing that they would be happy to pay.
"The business that this supplier is in is to hold stock and resell on to other customers who rely on them as a supply chain manager, so they want reliable suppliers and manufacturers," Adam Tyler, our Labels Direct manager says.
In order for the deal to work, therefore, we had to break it down across several areas to find a solution that would allow us to provide what the client wanted, while also ensuring it would work logistically.
"They came to us being specific about deadlines, so we organised a specific timeframe for them, which they asked if it was possible for 12,000 labels once every month," Adam explains.
"We took a six-month prior order from them and at the middle of the month we started making the order for delivery on the 1st of the next month."
By taking this approach, we were able to guarantee they would get their products at the right time.
Of course, the company in question here isn't the first customer to come to us with strict deadlines and certainly won't be the last. It's one of the fundamentals you expect to encounter in almost all aspects of business and, as a result, we need to ensure we are fully equipped to be able to respond to orders of this nature.
"Most clients allow for a one to two-week delivery, but because of the machines we use, we can provide our labels in a one to three-day delivery time, depending on the weekend and couriers," Adam explains.
"For example, a customer came to me on Friday, placed the order in the morning and because they explained it was urgent, they were printed that evening and received by the client on Monday morning. It was a very quick turnaround because the customer needed them urgently."
This isn't a unique situation and we operate two separate printing processes to ensure we are always prepared in case we receive a last-minute, immediate order. In fact, we're also looking at making an investment in a new machine to maintain our delivery dates - it's something that is extremely important to us, because it's important to our clients.
A second challenge with the Nelstar deal was offering a price that was competitive with what they'd been paying their previous label manufacturer.
What made this a whole lot easier was the fact they had placed a six-month order, which meant we were able to whittle down the price for them significantly because of the large volume of labels they were requiring.
Because a large proportion of the cost of what we do is associated with the setup process, we can afford to bring the price down for bulk orders.
"For 500 labels as and when a customer wants them, the setup charge won't change compared with an order of 12,000. However, the larger quantities see the costs get diluted down per label and helps us to reduce the unit cost considerably," Adam says.
Ultimately though, we will never let price compromise the quality of what we produce, as this is something we particularly pride ourselves on.
Another cost-saving technique we use for non-bespoke labelling is adopting a specific material and adhesive that standardises the production process.
Adam comments: "I sometimes feel people are better off spending an extra penny per label with us to get an extra two years' length on their label's life, which is very reasonable."
In terms of the feedback we've had from the customer so far, we're currently in the process of taking an additional 12-month order from them, which speaks volumes about how happy they've been with our service.
Adam says: "The fact they're reordering for 12 months' worth of supplies is the be-all and end-all for what we want to do. At the end of the day, we're just looking to secure good business relationships and that's exactly what we continue to achieve.”
And this case certainly isn't the exception when it comes to establishing positive, productive relationships with our clients.
"We have other customers that are constantly coming back to us. I had one send us a forecast purchase order and that's another great sign from a big customer of ours.”
"Many customers are recurring and I'm constantly speaking to and hearing about familiar names. The sort of relationship we have now is very relaxed because they know we can supply what they need and that makes for a relaxing environment for everyone involved."
“ I just wanted to send you a brief email to say THANK YOU! The stickers have arrived and everyone is really pleased with them! Thank you very much, sorry for all the toing and froing. We got there in the end.”