A lesson from the airline industry

The only thing more predictable than the recent struggles of the budget airline sector is that if today’s Monday then tomorrow is Tuesday.

The budget airline sector has taken great delight in recent years in offering lower and lower prices, apparently, all in the name of the consumer, and have taken part in a race to the bottom and bankruptcy at a speed that an Olympic sprinter would be proud of.

The Supermarkets of course are the same, arguing that consumers need Milk – as just one example –  for 49p a pint.  What about the farmers who produce it, how are they going to survive at these rates…..and what I am going to put on my Cornflakes if they all go bust?!

Here’s the news – I will pay more to fly because I like travelling…and before I set off to go to the airport at 4am I am going to have my Cornflakes because I like them too, so within reason I don’t mind how much either costs, but I do want to be able to continue to enjoy both in the longer term.  So here’s my crazy suggestion, how about putting prices up a bit for once rather than down?  Just an idea….

There are lessons here for our own industry of course – lower and lower prices delivered in the name of the consumer are not sustainable.  Dear old Mrs Jones is only going to buy her windows and doors, bi-folds or new Conservatory once….so charge her a fair – of course – but proper price for the highly technical products you are supplying and installing into her home.

We have seen a number of well-established fabrication businesses go to the wall recently, and there will be more if too large a part of the industry carries on the with the policy of selling below the true market value of its products and drags everybody else down with it.

Profit is not the dirty word some people seem to think it is.  As an industry we are more than capable of marketing ourself to the end users in such a way as to justify a fair price for the products we produce, so that unlike all those airlines of the past* the flagship names in our industry will be around long in to the future.

*How many of these do you remember from yesteryear?  Dan Air, Brittania, Freddie Laker, Pan Am, TWA, Caledonian, Airtours, British Midland Airways…sadly there are many more of course, and for those interested in a trip down memory lane there is a full list here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_airlines_of_the_United_Kingdom

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