Off to the annual trade show next week, so I am reading the trade mags a bit more closely than is usual. Read a good article about service: that the customer can choose two from GOOD-FAST-CHEAP but not all three. The implication is that if you go for fast/cheap then what you receive may not be good.
We focus on good-fast, and then good-cheap. We always buy through uk factories however on large orders we can get a lower price by using their quality assured supply chain to source directly from the Far East. (Castelli and Moleskine notebooks are manufactured in Italy.) The lead time will often increase to two months or more. ie GOOD-CHEAP but not FAST.
This rule applies in most businesses. I was talking to the owner of a large construction business last week. "We always get four quotes and choose the cheapest on a like for like basis". "How is the wet weather affecting things?", I asked. "Well, we were expecting a delivery of steel structures last week and because of the bad weather they did not turn up".