Thursday, August 28, 2008

Supply vs demand in the razor business

I am back from holiday, fresh and rejuvenated, with a new story for you.

As I was packing to leave for vacation in Spain I ran out of my favorite razor the Gillette Fusion. I've been a loyal user since the two blade Gillette back in the mid-90s and buying a new pack every 45 days has become routine. But on this 45th day, when I went to several convenience stores in Vienna, including Bipa, I discovered they we ALL out of the Fusion. Knowing how acclaimed, P&Gs supply chain is, I was shocked to find out that inventory was allowed to get so low across the city. I actually trekked to three different shops all of them out. Knowing that I would need a good shave when I checked into the hotel I had to do something I never thought I would do - I switched to Wilkerson Sword. To be honest, as I went to find the URL for the hotlink, I googled "Wilkingson Sword", because I thought that was the brand name. Anyway, I always saw Wilkerson's as the poor-mans Gillette and never get it much thought. But demand beat supply in on this warm day in Vienna and I needed a razor fast. Savings three euros on the purchase also made me feel a little better about it.

So now the punchline, how was it? Actually, I can say it worked as equally as good as the Fusion. I honestly didn't notice any difference and for a few euros cheaper, I am making the switch permanent.

Just another example of how the supply chain is a competitive advantage. Even with my loyalty, at the end of the day sometimes it just comes down to what is available. Hola Wilkerson's!


Kowboy said...

Are you purposely stating Wilkerson instead of Wilkinson? You got me confused... Anyway, I like your blog. Keep it up.

Christopher Sciacca said...

kowboy, yes, I guess you didn't read the entire post. I was making a joke that I thought the name of the company was Wilkerson to illustrate how unfamiliar I was with the company.