I hadn’t planned to drone on about problems and changes in our industry as it might seem self-serving and of no interest to our blog followers.
But I started this blog not only to promote, but to provoke and give insight into the workings of a glass store owner. Hence the title 'Diary of a Demented Store Owner'.
Yes, we do tell you what’s new, give suggestions and promote stuff that’s appearing. We've even been accused of trying to inject a little humour into our industry now and then. But that’s something you might get elsewhere (excluding Mikey's bad sense of humour...Tina).
Something you can’t get anywhere else is how things are done, the behind-the-scene inner workings, the graft and corruption, the sex, drugs and women- namely, the trials and tribulations we as retailers face.
That’s maybe why this blog is a little different.
It hasn’t made us popular with some, but has hopefully caused some changes to occur for the betterment of our industry. I have stories- some I can share today, some best left for another day.
Here’s one for today...
You might have thought that I was here these past few weeks.
Sorry, but I wasn’t.
I was away, hard at work as the above picture clearly shows.
The great thing about writing a blog is that you can schedule entries to appear even when you aren’t here.
I wish I was here.
It has been a very ‘interesting’ time these past few weeks.
Upon my return I find myself reflecting on many of the ‘cornerstones’ of our business and reviewing the status of all our inventory, the importance of our suppliers and our product mix- all relevant and important to our continuing success.
Manufacturers have disappointed us.
So has our supplier.
The traditional manufacturer/distributor/retail supply chain no longer seems to be important to most players leaving the retailer to wonder why this distribution system continues to exist.
You see, a mainstream manufacturer sells only to a protected set of distributors. That’s okay. There is merit to this system. Or was.
That protected distributor in return receives best pricing so long as they promise to carry the manufacturer’s full line and carry a substantial quantity in inventory to adequately supply the retailer (and studios).
This is important, why?
Well, FIG as your retailer depends on the distributor (and the due diligence of the manufacturer) to make sure he upholds his end of the deal, does his job and actually has inventory for us to draw from.
As you know (ad nauseam), over the past four years we have had a progressively worsening time procuring supplies from these manufacturers’ distributor. Some to such an extent that once proud mainstream suppliers such as Spectrum are now viewed here in Canada as a minor boutique manufacturer that is unable to provide a consistent and reliable product.
While we have a lesser problem supplying Bullseye glass because we are a dealer and buy direct, there are sundry, and slow moving items that we won’t buy direct expecting our distributor in their role to provide this for us.
So, where am I going with all this?
I’m not sure.
It used to be that everyone in the supply chain knew their role.
It used to be that everyone followed the rules, provided product in a timely, accessible manner, at a reasonable cost. And for all that effort, of course, were entitled to and realized a reasonable profit.
Everything is changing. Loyalties are being tested and reevaluated. I think we must do so as well.
Keep tuned as I anticipate some big changes occurring at FIG.