Precious Metals & Bench: News
Manufacturers can do a lot to contribute to their retail
customers' success, says Matt Stuller
Why Should You Care About Suppliers' Corporate Methods?
In August, Professional Jeweler published the first in an
occasional series examining innovative
corporate methods of progressive jewelry manufacturers.
Because of greater competition and new demands of the marketplace,
retailers need suppliers who can respond quickly to change. Your
reputation rests in part on the quality of the companies that
supply your products.
Knowing how a supplier trains its employees, chooses its own
suppliers, relates to customers and keeps up with technology
will help you choose wisely in the new millennium.
Meeting retailers' needs in the 21st century is critical to
a manufacturer's success, Matt Stuller, Stuller Settings CEO,
said in an address at the Gemological Institute of America's
International Gemological Symposium in San Diego, CA, in June.
The Lafayette, LA, company is widely respected for its commitment
to its customers.
If manufacturers help jewelers become more profitable through
a high level of customer service, they generate customer loyalty
and satisfaction. The manufacturers stay strong and the retailers
Highlights of Stuller's views on how a manufacturer supports
- Provide just-in-time inventory. This service is critical in
our "I want it yesterday" culture. "It's crucial
not to disappoint a retailer's customer," he said.
u Understand jewelers' needs. Stuller suggests manufacturers
hold focus groups and listen to retailers to truly understand
their daily challenges.
- Look at creating brands. Stuller said retailers may need help
from name-branded goods, so he's looking into providing such
- Don't compete. "Manufacturers should not compete with
jewelers by selling retail themselves," Stuller told an
- Deliver on or before the date promised.
- Have a liberal return policy. Manufacturers can work through
most retailers' returns and come up with a solution that satisfies
both without penalizing the retailer, he said.
- Take responsibility for complete delivery. This includes being
capable of shipping directly to a retailer's customer if that's
called for, complete with the retailer's labels.
- Don't have minimum orders. Every sale should be crucial.
- Stock low-profit items. Sometimes this merchandise is essential
to a manufacturer's ability to take care of a retail customer.
- Deal with special orders. Jewelers are among the last retailers
who operate tailor-made businesses. Manufacturers who can support
custom orders will be successful.
- Make it easy and fun to do business. Whether it's confirming
orders on-line for tech-savvy customers or a friendly, helpful,
service-oriented telephone fulfillment office, quick cordiality
- Support retailers' sales efforts with good catalogs, sales
literature and electronic services, such as CD-ROMs.
- Provide marketing support. Create campaigns and programs that
are easy for retail customers to use.
by Peggy Jo Donahue
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.