#Immediacy on speech making

'To my astonishment,' said Roger, 'the lorry shot out into the main ...

'To my astonishment,' said Roger, 'the lorry shot out into the main road and, if I have not braked very hard indeed, would have taken the front off my car.' Roger then added, 'That decided me. I was so annoyed by the behaviour of the lorry that I made up my mind that the suppliers concerned would not be the ones' to win the order.' Roger's reaction was of course an emotional one; and he made a decision which had nothing to do with the merits of the suppliers under consideration. But this true story illustrates the fact that decisions are influenced by non-relevant matters and your 'image' could be one of them. Another advantage of having your own vehicle is the fact that you have a resource at your disposal for emergencies.

You may not be able to hire a vehicle at just the moment you need to make an urgent, possibly unexpected, delivery, or to dash to a supplier for badly needed raw materials. This 'convenience factor' can be very important in some businesses where customer-service demands make the sudden ad hoc delivery important.

Meeting the demand can make all the difference between keeping or losing a customer. Once again, however, a realistic approach to this question is necessary, eg How often are emergency' trips really essential? Can you profitably provide such a service? If you frequently run out of supplies, do you need better control of your stocks rather than an expensive vehicle? Are you planning ahead properly? The non-cash disadvantages of having your own vehicle include a number of 'worry factors'. Someone must remember to tax and insure the vehicle and take the time to do it. Maintenance schedules must be adhered to and again someone must keep the records and arrange for work to be done One of the most irritating discoveries is to find that, at a time when the vehicle is badly needed, it is overdue for servicing.

There is a temptation to skip servicing due to the pressing need to make deliveries, and this can go on until the vehicle breaks down always at the worst possible time leaving you with no service at all.

This is a classic case of 'the urgent taking priority over the important. All these worry factors can be handed over to someone else if vehicles are hired.

There is an attraction in letting the manager of the hiring company have the sleepless nights. Another way of looking at the costs We have already looked at expenses by working out fixed and variable costs and making comparisons of 'cost per kilometre' and 'cost per journey.

There is a further approach which is helpful when evaluating charges for email, road carriers and rail as possible, alternatives. These services are often charged on a weight basis, so to obtain a comparison a similar calculation must be made in respect of owned or leased vehicles.

This involves working out, as before, the fixed and variable costs, and then applying them to the weight of goods being carried on an average journey. Thus, if your own vehicle carries an average of 5 cwt every time it makes a journey from, say, London to Southampton, the cost per cwt is total journey cost £125. The cost per cwt quoted by a common carrier may be more or less and hence worth considering or not. This weight/cost calculation is likely to be most helpful to businesses where products are sold by weight, eg vegetables, chemical products and a variety of dry goods. Economies in moving things will only be found when the costs of the alternatives have been worked out.

Having made the effort, however, the rewards can be considerable especially if a truly realistic approach to service, convenience and profit is taken. One of the advantages of being a software creator is that product can be shipped via email or downloaded, no shipping fleets in sight. Storing things A cost frequently overlooked or given inadequate attention is that of holding stocks.

Although the businessperson is well aware of the money he pays out ...

Although the businessperson is well aware of the money he pays out to buy raw materials and other supplies, he can easily overlook the cost of holding them. It is even easier to u... read more

This does sometimes happen but riot very often, and is normally a ...

This does sometimes happen but riot very often, and is normally a plucky 'accident'. The other costs Apart from the opportunity costs, th... read more

With a 100-carton consumption the first load would be ordered for delivery ...

With a 100-carton consumption the first load would be ordered for delivery at the beginning of week 1, and this would last to the end of week 3, to be followed by another delivery, and