50 Shades of Green

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As a Technical Sales Manager, I meet customers in a wide range of industries with a wide range of challenges.

Having said that, the common, simple issues I find are always the best areas to begin the conversation with a new customer.

Recently I visited a new customer, a volume user in the machinery OEM market sector. In recent months, the supply of their vinyl logos had been split over several suppliers. On walking the factory floor, I noticed that over a range of models the main green logo had four different styles.

On closer inspection, the main design was the same on all models but there were four distinctly different shades of green.

When I looked deeper into this problem with the engineers it came out in conversation that the different engineers on each model specified a different grade of vinyl, some opting for a 5 year life material and others a 7 year life option. Looking carefully at my sample swatches for the vinyl selected there were 2 options of green to choose from which were close to the company’s logo corporate colour. The colour and material were not fully specified on the drawings, allowing the supplier to select his own version of the logo colour – thus at least 4 options and miss-match across the range.

My first job was to specify the required material life with the engineer in agreement with the buying team, then to decide with them on the choice of green from the 2 readily available. The colour and material reference is now specified on all the drawings for all models across the range.

This simple action of asking the question and specifying the preferred option has not only saved time from our production point of view, but has given the customer’s products a corporate identity and a consistent finish.

Having looked at the greens used I noticed there was a range of blues used on the safety labels….. another fix for another day, but at least the customer is now thinking about matching colours and vinyl life as well as the ease of ordering when you know the colours, style and durability are agreed.