Stanley Thai, founder of Malaysian rubber glove manufacturer Supermax, is cutting out the middleman. Supermax, the world's second largest rubber glove producer, is now selling direct to consumers.

As a means of realizing savings, buyers (for example, England's National Health Service – trying to find £1bn of savings in its supply chain by 2016) may choose to buy direct from manufacturers rather than going through a disposable glove supplier middleman.

Of course, sourcing direct from a manufacturer does have its disadvantages. When taking advantage of Mr. Thai's new business model, the buyer assumes the following risks:

  • Since manufacturers don't have mechanisms in place for customer support, service often lacks. They will first and foremost protect their larger client relationships, and customer service sometimes suffers.
  • Wholesalers/importers take the risk of buying too much of one size and not enough of another, causing a supply imbalance.
  • Returns could also be an issue. For example, the manufacturer could make the customer pay for return shipping and a restocking fee.

Read more about sourcing direct from the manufacturer in this article from The Telegraph.

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Written by Rob Brown