Steile These, Paul Lister!

“Nachhaltigkeit und Preis haben nichts miteinander zu tun”

Der Pri­mark-Mana­ger im Inter­view mit Char­leen Flo­ri­jn für Oran­ge by Han­dels­blatt.


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2 Antworten zu “Steile These, Paul Lister!

  1. Not that pre­pos­te­rous a cla­im.

    Pri­mark gene­ra­tes huge orders per style – being one of the prime dri­vers of pri­ce – the effi­ci­en­cy in manu­fac­tu­ring. This effi­ci­en­cy in manu­fac­tu­ring cou­pled with a com­pa­ny with ever­y­thing intern­al­ly geared towards effi­ci­en­cy and kee­ping mar­gins lo, makes the com­bi­na­ti­on of low pri­ce and being a fair tra­ding part­ner very simp­le.

    Compa­re this to the model that requi­res 35 sales­man samples in full color sets pri­or to an order being pla­ced (usual­ly un or under­paid), 40% of which never make it to pro­duc­tion. That is was­ted human ener­gy, resour­ces and cos­ts, and often fol­lo­wed by orders that bare­ly scratch mini­mum order quan­ti­ties. This is a mas­si­ve under-uti­liza­ti­on of expen­si­ve machi­nery, man­power and other inputs. Run­ning 3000pcs through a line a day at per­fect effi­ci­en­cy uses the same amount of elec­tri­ci­ty, human hours, over­head, mer­chan­di­sing, sam­pling, appr­ovals, digi­tiza­ti­on hours, test­ing cos­ts and the like as ope­ra­ting that line at 800pcs of a style that has was­ta­ge all along.

    This does not even go into how much easier it is to be a fair employ­er when you know you can pro­vi­de regu­lar work and a pay­check to your employees. Lar­ge sca­le regu­lar orders of good volu­me do way more of this than small to medi­um size orders in irre­gu­lar fashion. The­re is a reason why you see small fac­to­ries with very small inter­nal work­force, and a lot of “out­sour­cing” – a Cor­po­ra­te Social Respon­si­bi­li­ty night­ma­re – and one I see far more in are­as we con­sider “clo­se to home” than far afield. Fle­xi­ble – wit­hout regu­lar lar­ge volu­me – is usual­ly bor­ne out by the lowest ear­ning employees.

    Now take that bran­ded good, with a mark­up to who­le­sa­le of at least x 2, and a retail mar­gin of x3 and you have a retail pri­ce 6 times what it cost (I will admit, the­re are some sus­tainable brands working on mar­gins lower than this – and this lack of pro­fi­ta­bi­li­ty is per­haps well inten­tio­ned, but hard­ly sus­tainable). At Pri­mark that num­ber is clo­ser to x2 than it is to x3 – and due to other effi­ci­en­ci­es along the way a first cost that is 25% lower, and the math gets real­ly easy.

    The part­ners I work with on the manu­fac­tu­ring side want not­hing more than depen­da­ble volu­me with litt­le com­ple­xi­ty. It pro­vi­des the most sus­tainable busi­ness model and the best oppor­tu­ni­ty to focus on impro­ving the stan­dard of living for employees as well as as social and envi­ron­men­tal sus­taina­bi­li­ty.

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