As a long time player in the green industry we routinely debate the merits of being the market's lowest cost supplier. The dynamics of that internal discussion always places us squarely in the throws of a conundrum; one I believe many wholesale distribution businesses encounter as the pros and cons of achieving "lowest cost provider" status are considered. The outcome of the internal debate has consistently resulted in our concluding that focus must not be placed solely on price but on the provision of "superior value solutions".

The crux of our dilemma comes as we calculate the opportunity cost inevitably associated with the climb up the lowest cost provider ladder. Simply put, we believe achieving lowest cost status will require a painful trade-off; one we really don't want to bear or impose.

Obviously, some of the discomfort would come in the form of reduced margins. But for LSI the real cost would entail the unpleasant necessity of reducing the investment we make in employee and practitioner training. Something has to give as profits are sacrificed and the time taken to offset through increased share and volume would force an immediate reallocation in how earnings are allocated.

For example, the investment LSI makes in training is part of the service commitment we make to our customers and to the industry. Compromise in this area is unacceptable and in our minds the associated opportunity cost is simply not one we want to impose. Instead, our focus will remain squarely on reinvestment in industry training and to improvement in our overall corporate performance.

LSI is committed to the provision of added value services. To providing state-of-the art products designed to insure your success while at the same time demonstrating our commitment to environmental stewardship. We are constantly expanding our covered warehouse space to insure having the products you need exactly when you need them with the delivery commitments necessary to provide solutions in a time frame defined by the challenges you face each day.

So we will not seek the title as "lowest cost supplier" having made the conscious decision to avoid the impact that status carries. Instead, our commitment is and will remain being our customers SUPERIOR VALUE Solutions Provider.

With that said we recognize cost is a very important variable in making buying decisions. It certainly is for us as we seek the best price for the products we stock. But it shouldn't be the only criteria. Longevity of service, industry presence, loyalty, meeting commitments, the strength of ones word, doing the right thing regardless of personal cost are all intangibles that should be incorporated into the buying equation.

It is my hope that you will make this distinction; a distinction that recognizes our passionate commitment to each and every customer. We seek recognition as your SUPERIOR VALUE Solutions Provider and work each and every day to earn that title.