Quality, price and delivery are the primary components of any product or service offering. Knowing the proper balance of the three is crucial. Providing too much of one and not enough of the other can mean the difference between success and failure. A market driven approach to this question concludes that the customer will make this determination. Knowing your target market and what their preferences are is critical in making this decision. Every customer would be ecstatic if they received top quality at the lowest price with no wait time.
Premium quality doesn’t necessarily mean that sacrifices need to be made in price and delivery. However the 3 are directly related and interdependent. For instance providing premium quality service in tire and auto repair may mean offering more expensive tires and parts or paying higher wages for more skillful technicians. It also may mean spending more time on repair work and quality assurance or longer lead times on tires and parts resulting in longer delivery times.
Pricing levels can impact quality and delivery. Assuming that profit goals are met, lower pricing can affect quality in that lower price tires and parts or less effort spent on quality assurance can result in more frequent maintenance requirements for the vehicle or can affect the driving experience.
Delivery times are a function of quality and price. Generally lower pricing and less attention to quality result in quicker delivery times. Conversely, longer delivery times demand higher pricing in order to achieve profit goals and more attention to quality increases the time to deliver the finished product.
So knowing the right mix of these three critical factors can mean the difference between success and failure. At the one extreme is top quality, higher prices and longer delivery times. At the other extreme there is lower quality, lower prices and faster delivery. Top quality, higher prices and longer delivery result in higher margins and lower volume. Lower quality, lower prices and faster delivery result in lower margins but higher volume. Realistically the right mix for any given business is probably somewhere in between. Knowing your target market and providing what is most important to them is the key. Trying to operate at both extremes will result in not being very good at either. So know your market, focus on the right strategy to service your market and do what you do well.