Lasting Relationships flourish when both parties trust each other. Greed, or a breach of that fragile trust by either side, fractures the relationship and makes it impossible to restore it to its original trust level.
We all worked very hard back in the early days; usually seven days a week. We also had many breaks in business; one that comes to mind is from a large Pharmacy chain.
Mr. Blackburn had a vacuum-forming business. I used to deal with him when I worked at my old company. Mr. Blackburn was older than me and he liked my tenacity in business.
When I started AGORA, I pursued this secured business of a large Pharmacy chain. This company was looking to reduce the cost of its shopper baskets. The shopper baskets were made from vacuum-formed ABS plastic and then silk-screened with the company logo.
Mr. Blackburn redesigned the basket using polyethylene plastic rather than ABS plastic. Instead of silk-screening a logo on a basket afterwards, he debossed the logo while forming the basket thereby manufacturing the entire basket in one process. This reduced the cost of the basket, as well as, made for a stronger and more durable basket.
Here is the break: This Pharmacy chain would give us a large order of 50,000 baskets per PO.
We would in turn, place an order with Mr. Blackburn and then receive 50,000 baskets by truck.
We would have an empty truck parked beside the truck full of baskets. All of us would go out, and randomly check the quality of the baskets, then start filling the empty truck with the inspected baskets.
This process would take our 6 employees about 6 to 8 hours.
Our customer would pay us within 10 days. This check received in a short time would provide Agora operating cash to purchase raw materials and pay our employees, etc. We would receive a 50,000 piece order twice a year. With this huge break, our business was able to sustain for about two to three years.
AGORA was able to improve the basket design and reduce the price of the basket thus creating a win-win situation for all parties involved. Knowing the innovative Mr. Blackburn plus the trust that our customer placed in AGORA, provided this break for us.