What are the strengths of the small firm compared to those of the large corporations?

1. Flexibility. It is simpler for the small workshop to undertake something special than it is for the large organization. It can change its production programme, very often, in the time it takes the production committee of the major manufacturer to sit down to have a meeting on the subject!

It can tailor-make a product to meet a specific need without undue cost because of its small batch methods. The big firm, with mass production techniques, cannot match this service.

2. The Persona! Touch. The proprietor of a small firm often knows his customers personally, just as he knows personally his suppliers of raw materials and components. He usually knows personally the people who work for him.

Because of his first-hand knowledge of all aspects of his business he can, when needed, make rapid decisions.

3. Improvisation. Another distinct advantage that the small firm has over bigger rivals is the comparative ease with which it can improvise in an emergency.

These three factors-flexibility, the personal touch leading to speed of decision and the ability to improvise-give the small manufacturing business a distinct edge over larger competitors. They are factors that should be borne in mind by anyone running a small workshop.

It is not always appreciated how important these facilities are to potential customers. Domestic appliance and electrical goods manufacturers, to take just one example, frequently contract out to small firms in their locality the production of short runs of vital components. They do so in the knowledge that they will often obtain a keener price and will most certainly get better service than if they tried to make them themselves or put the work to larger component manufacturers.

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Please Note

The Trade is, of course, a major source of product ideas. All manufacturers examine, with avid interest, the new products of their competitors.