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Quality, is it worth it?


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I must admit I am a pack rat. So I have piles and piles of stuff left over from the days when I worked as a graphic designer and when I worked as a project manager/designer for a local store fixture manufacturer. A few weekends ago I got ambitious and started the process of going through items to decide what should be pitched and what I just can’t give up and should hold onto for another decade or two.

I came upon a roll of blueprints that were construction drawings that I drew back in 1988. This was preCAD days folks. Every line, dimension and note was drawn by hand. What really got my attention was that the drawing was for three “Solicitation Counters” that we were going to build for Lambert St. Louis International Airport. The purpose of the counters was to control a certain religious group that was pestering travelers for donations and in return would hand out their “free” book. The fixture company that I worked for at that time was known for their premium and custom grade cabinetry. Needless to say the counters looked fantastic when they were completed and they were built to last.

Category Icon TestAfter seeing those drawings I was curious if any of the counters were still in use. So, on my next trip out of the east terminal at Lambert I checked around to see what I could find. Tucked up against the window, right across from the TSA there she stood…a little tattered after 25 years, but aren’t we all. I felt a lot of pride seeing that counter, knowing I had a part in the construction of it. The Lambert facility manager back in 1988 got his money’s worth: 25 years of use. What a bargain! In this case, quality was worth it.

Quality and pride in a job well done go hand-in-hand in my book. That is why I started using Optima as a supplier 23 years ago and why I decided to work for Optima in 2008. Our estimator, Dan Stefl, has a great passage by John Ruskin attached to his signature block and it goes out with every one of his estimates: “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low prices are forgotten”.

So I ask you… QUALITY – is it worth it?

About the Author

Rich Fava is an Account Executive at Optima Graphics.
He has spent his career in the graphics world since earning his Design degree and in Trade Show since the early 90s.

Categories: Examples
  1. August 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

    HI Rich, the quote from John Ruskin says it all! I am a huge proponent on quality and discuss intently with clients and prospects all the time. Optima recently printed some lambda duraflex graphic panels for me and we squeezed every last 1/8″ the machine had to fulfill the required specs. Stephanie our Customer Rep, had to go and talk to production to accomplish our job. I did not want to use another printer because…you said it….Quality! I rely everyday on the exceptional quality Optima continues to deliver.

  2. Heather Speckhard
    August 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Well put Rich! Loved reading your story! And YES quality is well worth it!!!

  3. melmwhite
    August 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Great story Rich. Thanks.

  4. August 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Yes, Rich…Quality is worth it! And….you are a pack rat! But you are a good guy to know…so much knowledge in that noggin of yours! Glad you are my “go to” vendor of choice!!

  5. August 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    great article Rich. I hope it’s alright to use the quote….”The bitterness” I also use by cheap by twice….quality does matter.

  6. Robert Hughes
    August 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Brilliant !!

  7. Gary Camarato
    September 3, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Yes it’s worth it. Thank’s Rich!

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