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Value based shopping for digitizers: What are the factors to be considered?

Abcoln's customers have gained the name of being the BEST SMALL TEXT EMBROIDERY companies. Referrals come to us based on our quality and service. In fact 97% of customers stick with us on a long term, after having sampled our service. Yet, for a new customer coming taking a look at us, there are some questions that needs proper attention.

One of the most common questions prospects ask me is about our pricing. During tough economic times, price is extremely important, and prospects frequently seek to compare us with extremely low-cost providers. This makes me question: Is price the only thing that matters?

Let me clarify: Abcoln's prices for embroidery digitizing and vector artwork are very favorable. In fact, when we had our customer survey earlier this year, 69% respondents rated us with a 10 and 18% rated us a 9 on price (grading from a 1 to a 10, 10 being the highest). Most customers commented that we provide great quality compared to the cost, and that our prices are one of the aspects they like best about us. This is one of the main reasons why customers have referred us to their friends and colleagues.

On the other hand, our prices aren't the cheapest either. And to prospects who are only considering price - who haven't tried our services and don't have experience of our quality and reliability to judge us by - this can be an issue.

But in a way, I understand where these prospects are coming from. It's easy to compare price among vendors: it's a number. Evaluating and comparing other indicators of value is much more difficult.

So, instead of insisting that your vendor reduce prices, here is a list of recommended questions you can ask them. Rate the companies based on standards that you feel are important to you:

1. What are your quality standards?

Abcoln follows lean Six Sigma, and we provide error-free designs to our clients at least 98% of the time. In our survey, 91% of respondents rated our quality of graphic and digitizing work as 10. Ask your provider pointed questions about quality and how they measure it.

2. What are your turn around times?
We state our turn times up-front (they vary based on the order priority and price) and stick to them more than 98% of the time. In the survey, customers rated us 9.3 on turn times and 9.1 on quality of delivery.

3. What do your customers think of you?
Look at the vendor's website and see if you can find testimonials. (For instance, we have put some up here.) Ask for testimonials. Ask for references, and call up and talk to those clients. If current clients are satisfied, it's more likely you will be too.

4. How easy is it to place orders?
Many providers accept orders via email. This is certainly convenient, but a web-based system can be a more efficient tool. Abcoln developed a complete, web-based order management system for accepting orders anytime from anywhere. This is also a tracking and archiving system. Customers can store files for use later at no cost and can easily re-order or request changes.

5. What kind of experience do you have?
Abcoln has been in business for decades, and has tenured employees with a broad range of skills and expertise. Our digitizers are true artists, as well as production specialists. The key is our verification personnel who are embroiderers in the field, like yourselves. The designs they create are production-friendly - this is critical to getting an order sewn and delivered to your customers on time every time. The artwork team knows the promotional products industry very well. They work with many suppliers, so they understand what is needed for the multitude of products that are available in the market.

6. Do you have back-up systems?
Small providers can charge so little because they have almost no overhead. At Abcoln, we have redundant production facilities, data centers and business continuity plans to ensure uninterrupted service and peace of mind that important files will be delivered. Many smaller providers don't even have back-up for power and equipment.

7. Will the business be around for the long term?
Who owns the business? Is it a small company that might fold tomorrow? Abcoln is tuned in measuring its success on one reason and one reason only: A long term strategic relationship for embroiderers like you. This is vital for continuing to grow and add more services in the long term. This means you can trust that we will be next year, the next decade and beyond.

So the next time you use price as the most important criteria for evaluating vendors, think about what services you need the most?

1. What is the percentage of customers who have become long term customers, after having a sample done for them? Abcoln is proud of its 97% success rate for customers to stick with us, as their only digitizer, on a long term basis.
2. What is the percentage of "digitizing related" issues? At Abcoln we boast less than 1 % of errors caused by us, and it is fixed free of cost.
3. Do you need a 24 hour staff, like Abcoln?
4. Do you need an immediate RUSH job delivered during day or night? Abcoln can provide it
5. Are all the designs sampled out? We do.
6. Does the digitizer own an embroidery machine that is used for SAMPLING purposes only? We own a Barudan machine (including a cap attachment) to sample each and every design.
7. Is the requirement for verification team, owning and operating embroidery machines for atleast 10 years? This is the main factor why we have a 97% success rate of customers who sample us, stay with us.
8. Does the website provide ways of saving artworks for years on end, and provide easy search mechanisms, in case you have forgotten the name of a design? Use Abcoln's searches on a variety of criteria to isolate that one specific design you are looking for.

Even when every penny counts, do you really want to risk something going wrong: making the client unhappy with a poorly created design or having to apologize because the designs aren't ready in time. yet again?

If you carefully review your providers, you may be surprised that they come up short on the above criteria. That might be just fine if you are in a competitive situation or have to deliver on a tight budget for an important client and every penny counts. But when you have an order that must be perfect and on time, you might want to turn to Abcoln.

There's a reason why all of our customers are delighted to work with us, and are continuing to REFER us to others like you.
Abcoln Fashions is constantly testing innovative ways to embroider using special effect embroidery.
Watch this website for the newest in custom embroidery digitizing.

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