Putting An End to Complacency In A Frustrated Marketplace

Axair Fans Helping to Engineer Customers out of The Skills Gap
Axair Fans Helping to Engineer Customers out of The Skills Gap

Putting an end to complacency in a frustrated marketplace

Author: Andrew Jones – Technical Director


Recognising that there’s a problem in an industry run by giants is only the first step to ending customer complacency, but recognising that there are viable alternatives to these industry giants without the perceived hassle opens huge opportunities to change the way you do business. 

Archaic, stagnated industries are often overlooked and are more likely to be rife with customer frustrations. As customers we often get so conditioned to an industry that we assume there is only one way of doing something. But as business owners and entrepreneurs will understand, there’s rarely one way. In an industry where there are a handful of excellent companies, customers for these giants in this case, with a strong understanding and an in-depth application knowledge, there are also small to medium businesses who don’t have the advantage of being completely autonomous in their component sourcing, they lack confidence in their own technical selections, integration techniques, or have a fear of trusting new or unknown suppliers. This creates barriers to future competitive advantage. Fear is a huge driver that leads to complacency, an employee in a procurement department tasked with finding components, may turn down a lesser-known company that in culture value and service, is a better fit for their needs. The reason? Fear, whether real or perceived, that his job would be on the line if something went wrong. This causes teams to ignore the express purpose of their job and even do something that was not in the company’s best interests. 

The truth is, the more boring an industry, when it comes to outsourced technical or design consulting, services are regularly expensive and rigid. Large in-house teams (where in-house technical teams still exist and haven’t been reduced due to economic and financial issues) of people come together to agonise over every little detail, when one smart specialist individual could be a far more efficient solution. 

Imagine approaching a component sales organisation for technical assistance and having one single contact for technical and commercial questions, without getting passed from pillar to post when you just need the answer to a question that enables you to move onto the next step. Large companies struggle with this, especially as they’ve grown quickly and lost that attentive value. Customer requests are initially dealt with by customer service, escalated to senior levels, then passed to technical with weeks of delays and customer chasing before being brushed aside. The same message is rung around multiple industries that larger companies don’t have the time or care for customers spending below a certain threshold. It’s inevitable that business standards change if you allow them to, when companies start working more with larger customers. The cost of that choice falls on the value added for customers outside of these large golden eggs. For small to medium company issues, this poor level of service continually creates complacency, meaning these large companies can stop caring and begin to take customers for granted, and overall, it’s an indication that the industry itself has become complacent. 

From my experience of working in the tech and engineering industries for my entire career, similar sized business clients have similar needs, to work collaboratively, to be listened to, to have access to an attentive and focused contact and they’re reliant on the resourcefulness of the technical team in helping to integrate solutions. Focusing on our niche clients in the value-added customer centric approach we have at Axair leads to trust, quick decisions and to be honest, everything just moves at a faster pace. Customers are individuals, not just the companies they work in to help our business grow. We identified early on that the reason for our existence was to enable customers to build better systems, and almost 32 years on from our incorporation date in 1992, we continue to embed our values into the team, forming long lasting relationships and partnerships with key industry stakeholders. 

If your business is coasting by working with existing suppliers who haven’t stepped up the mark, then it’s time to think about how you can end the complacency. Yes its always tempting to go after the biggest fish in the pond, thinking it will clearly be the best, but if elements of this are falling short, then consideration should be given to better value-added smaller players who just might be the right partner for your needs.  

Meet the Author

Andrew Jones,

Technical Sales Director

Andrew started his career in engineering as ten year old boy installing his parents ceiling lamps and fixing his dads Harley Davidson bikes. Later at the grand old age of 14 when he was given a mobile phone  and quickly he developed a reputation of being able to fix all issues and problems such as broken screens or replacing internal chips. Andrew joined Axair a decade later and immediately started to show he had "the knack", working multiple roles in product engineering, quoting, field sales and sales manager positions. But his technical, solution led leadership skills shone through, and he now proudly sits at the top of the Axair tree as our Technical Director, helping our customers to build better fan systems every day.  

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Complacency Stinks - Axair is Putting An End to Frustration
Complacency Stinks - Axair is Putting An End to Frustration