SO WRITES PAUL IN CANADA at Christian Book Shop Talk, discussing the criteria by which retailers select their suppliers — but is he right? Paul is, of course, addressing Canada’s situation — but how similar is that to ours here in the UK?
Personally I am reluctant to place so much weight on supplier incompetence, although we have seen plenty of that, arrogance too, in recent years: I’ve seen far too much incompetence in terms of ill-informed or over-enthusiastic staff (both extremes are best avoided, methinks) in Christian bookshops themselves to be able to sit comfortably alongside Paul on this one.
Arguing that “we should all reconsider our priorities when deciding where to do our wholesale shopping”, Paul suggests that an important question being missed is:
- Do they have good people?
In other words, are their staff intelligent, insightful people? Are they compassionate and understanding?
Often times the answer is “no,” although it often takes many months to find this out. Many of our suppliers simply did not do well in the hiring process. Many others don’t offer ongoing training.
…I believe in our industry we’re dealing with a number of “bests”
- We have the greatest products by the finest authors and artists
- We have great staff at the retail level in many of our stores
- Our customers — a lot of them good ‘church people’ — represent the nicest people in our communities
No, the weak link(s) in our industry is (and has always been) in the supply chain.
- Read the full post: Major Criteria in Choosing A Supplier