Value. We all talk about it. But what is it?
What actually defines value? And do we truly act in a manner that prioritises value?
At Blakedale, value first and foremost embodies top quality products and service, with additional value seen in the support that underpins everything that the company does. Ultimately, Blakedale views continued support as being just as important as the products and initial service.
We’d be as bold as to suggest that we’re all hunting for value. But what is it? What truly says, ‘great value’? and are we confusing low price with value for money?
Buy cheap. Buy twice
We’ve all heard ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ but too commonly it’s price and price alone that seems to be the determining factor when making a decision.
Value doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. One of the dictionary definitions of cheap is ‘of inferior quality or worth’ and cheap often leads to sub-par. Value does however, mean fair and competitive, whilst also being commercial.
Additionally, the cost can in many cases embody other less apparent, but crucial elements of what represents value for money, such as staff training to ensure depth of knowledge and experience, or additional after-sales support.
For example, when you call out a tradesperson, you’re paying not just for their time, but also for the years of training and expertise that gives them the ability to do the job.
Blakedale has an unapparelled depth and breadth of knowledge and an absolute passion for supporting its customers.
Known as a supplier that takes pride in getting to know it’s customers really well, to truly understand the pressures they are under and further than that, how it can then help to make their lives easier, Blakedale place huge emphasis on going the extra mile to add further value.
We asked Blakedale MD Carmen Bowley, “Where do you feel Blakedale provides true value?”
“Our ethos of ‘going the extra mile’ I hope is representative of true value. We take a ‘your problem is our problem’ approach and we won’t rest until we’ve delivered a solution.
“Our technicians are extremely passionate about the vehicles and strive to innovate and improve for the benefit of our customers. We’re not content with having their business, we want to make the products and service they receive better and better.
“Our staff retention rate is high – with many of our highly skilled staff having been with us for well over a decade. This means continuity for our customers and familiarity between our well-trained staff and clients, aiding our customers by them knowing that we, as their supplier know who they are, how they operate and what they need on a long-term basis.
We also asked Carmen, ‘Do you feel simply looking for the cheapest option happens all too often?’
“This can certainly happen, and we absolutely understand that price is a key element when sourcing products and services. None of us can afford to disregard price, and sometimes we can’t compete on price, but ironically, sometimes the cheaper option isn’t always the most economic one in the long term.
“Over the 30+ years we have been in business, we have seen companies come and go, some by way of offering unrealistic prices and subsequently going out of business when it wasn’t sustainable. In that scenario, nobody wins, as a company has gone bust, clients have been let down without support and companies such as ours are left with unrealistic customer expectations when it comes to price.
“There is a well -known saying “If it seems too good to be true , it probably is “ I think that definitely applies to low cost vehicle hires. You may only find out why it is so cheap when something goes wrong “
Practising what you preach
Many companies sell themselves, their products and services on providing great value for money at very low rates.
We all sell value, but do we fall foul of buying on price alone? Does our perspective shift when it comes to spending our money, as opposed to selling our products and services? Do we preach big picture, but practice short term thinking?
It’s likely the answers are myriad, and probably vary in each individual case. Should we all be asking more questions of ourselves if price is the only consideration to the detriment of value?
“For many business’s resourcing decisions, there is a balance between cost and quantity. A low- cost decision provides obvious short-term benefits to the bottom line, but can also lead to risks that hit profits and reputation hard in the longer term.
“We at Blakedale have made that mistake ourselves in the past and indeed there are products that we will no longer buy and suppliers who we will no longer use, despite their beguilingly low price.
“The risks turned out to be simply too high and cost us dear in the long run. In short, value represents a control of risk at an affordable price.”