Why biggest and best aren’t always the same

Being the biggest has never been an indication of being the best. Howard Hughes built the biggest plane ever constructed – The Spruce Goose – and it only ever flew once. A “dead duck” (bad pun I know) if ever there was one.

Latest figures show Toyota are the world’s biggest car manufacturer making 9.98 million vehicles. But not everyone thinks they are the best – GM built 9.71 million vehicles and VW 9.70 million. Presumably plenty of people bought those because they thought they were better. That or there’s a huge car park full of unsold Golfs and Polos out there somewhere.

By contrast Aston Martin apparently only made about 3,400 cars in 2012. Yet it is often rated one of the most iconic brands. Does that make it the best car? I’d love to have enough money to find out! I am equally sure a few environmentalists would argue it isn’t. If we all drove super cars we would probably turn Cleethorpes into Marbella within a decade.

Of course being the best is a subjective thing. And it is determined by the client not the provider.

For example I love my 4×4 but my wife thinks her Mini convertible is better. When we go to muddy rugby grounds in mid-January with 40 players’ worth of kit in the boot I know I am right. With the Mini’s roof down cruising along a coastal road in mid-July I have to agree she’s got a point. Which proves best is often a matter of circumstance too.

At Chiumento we strive to be the best but know we have to continuously improve to have the hope of getting there. And we also have to be flexible and innovative enough to know that what a client loves today could be completely different to what they want tomorrow.

Deep down though we believe that small is beautiful. You see being small has advantages. Things like agility, intimacy and pace. And that’s why smaller suppliers will always have a place in the market. Despite the internet and big supermarkets there are still terrific and successful independent shops that meet their clients’ needs.

At home, we buy our milk and bread at the supermarket just like most people. But if I want great ingredients for a special meal I go to my favourite butcher. He can always tell me exactly where everything in his display has come from. He’ll order in what he doesn’t have or prepare things just how I like them. No supermarket is ever going to do that. Oh, and he is often no more expensive either.

In my experience few people choose their services provider simply based on size. If it were true then all our clients would be SMEs. Instead we’ve a number of FTSE 100 clients. And we work with global corporates too. What we provide is a solution tailored to their needs at a price they want to pay.

I like to think we are like my butcher. We listen to what people want and go out of our way to deliver it. Plus we add a sprinkle of creativity – often based on our own unique research.

So if you want the equivalent of a big supermarket go ahead. If you fancy something a little bit different – without the price tag of an Aston Martin DB9 – try us. Ultimately as the client it is first, last and always your choice.

Ian Gooden
Chief Executive

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