Quality and Value - Food and Beverage Today
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Focus on Quality and Value
To survive in the business you must start focusing on delivering quality and value

Some companies are finding success by bringing these two attributes together: Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, Southwest Airlines are some examples. Quality and value have always been core attributes for these companies, enabling their popularity before the economic crisis began, and now enabling them to endure the turbulence in the market.

As an example, quality and value have long been virtues at Costco Wholesale. Members of this warehouse club have bought-in, literally and figuratively to the concept at Costco that they can find the best possible merchandise at the best possible price. Costco drives its supplier community to constantly improve its offerings – higher quality ingredients in its food products, finding manufacturing or logistical efficiencies that can be passed on to members, increasing the integrity of products by using stronger materials or emerging technology, etc. To be sure, this is a strategy Costco outlines in their mission statement, but their focus on quality and value extends far beyond just what is offered for sale on their floor.

Costco’s continued success lies not only in the quality and value of the merchandise they sell, but these attributes prevail in almost every component of their business. They have long resisted the influence of Wall Street to lower wages and increase prices because they feel that the truly significant guiding voices come not from Wall Street but from their customers and employees. By serving these two groups first and foremost, their company flourishes by retaining top performing employees and keeping the best offering for its members. Quality and value; Costco also offers these two virtues in their return policy – tightened a little recently to keep up with fast emerging technology, Costco still offers a satisfaction guarantee that is rivaled by very few in the industry. Their belief is that giving its members a sense of confidence about their purchase will lead them to buy more and buy more often; Quality and value.

For suppliers, contractors and service providers to Costco – there is a quality and value exchange in the relationship. Costco is demanding of this group – as demanding as any $72 Billion company would or could be. But as long as there is quality and value in exchange for goods and services, Costco rewards this group by not charging fees to do business with them, paying their bills on time, and being a good partner in business.

Quality and value, as illustrated above, can cross over in application and are most effective when they are combined. Combine these attributes and apply them to anything, and watch the chances of success increase. One valued supplier to Costco said it best in a recent edition of the Costco Connection. “Marketing opens the door, quality keeps it open.” Andrew Ly, Sugar Bowl Bakery, Costco Connection Feb 2009. “You lose quality, you lose the faith of your customer.”

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