Break Time

Dec 01, 2001 10:30 PM  By

There was a time when most goods sold in this country were made in this country — when you received a faulty shipment, you could send it back. But now that most goods sold domestically are made overseas, sending them back to the manufacturer will cost you time, money, and customers.

“To over-promise and under-deliver is the cataloger’s nightmare,” says Doug Easly, the new market development/sales director of Quality Casuals, an industrial outsourcing services and fulfillment company headquartered in Duncansville, PA. Quality Casuals started out in 1956 as an inspection and repair service for the footwear industry. It has since expanded to cover a wide variety of other businesses, including apparel, sporting goods, housewares, and electronic equipment packaging.

According to Easly, Quality Casuals performs audits and inspections of incoming shipments using quality standards that its customers establish. Quality Casuals can sort first quality from second quality, analyze defects, and in most cases, fix problems. Repairs, reworking, restitching, alterations, hardware replacement, packaging, and kitting and other assembly are all part of the services offered. “We also know what to look for,” Easly says. “A lot of footwear from the tropics arrives full of mildew.” In addition to serving independent fulfillment companies, Quality Casuals can do the fulfillment itself.

Many merchants don’t realize, Easly says, that there are tariff refunds for defective goods, and that these refunds can be used to pay a company like his to make corrections. Says Easly, “We can help you get your merchandise to market on time without returning to the vendor.”

PATCHWORK

The downside of all technology, no matter how helpful, is that eventually it’s going to succumb to wear and tear. This is especially true for bar code scanning and printing equipment. “They all break,” says Bobby Rose, president of Jacksonville Beach, FL-based Bar Code Equipment Service, Inc.

As the name of his company implies, Rose is in the business of repairing these devices when they break. Since his business does $20 million a year, it’s clear they break with some regularity. He’s repaired as many as 2,700 devices in one week for one customer, and averages 200-500 repairs a day. Other firms offer similar services, but what distinguishes his, says Rose, “is that we guarantee our work for six months and offer a one-day turnaround for no extra charge.