Woman: As you know, the main supplier of our components announced suddenly last month that they were closing down shortly,
leaving us in a very difficult situation.
I shortlisted four potential replacement suppliers, and have visited them all.
I'll report on each, though I've only found one company that meets our needs entirely.
Initially, I was optimistic about the first company I saw.
I was given an enthusiastic welcome and generous hospitality by the MD,
but when he took me on a tour of the factory, I began to have a few doubts about his commercial expertise.
The factory is enormous -a converted aircraft shed, I think, almost too big to be practical.
There is certainly enough machinery to produce the quantities we need, and that, of course, is vital.
However, I had one main concern. The company has recently invested heavily in state-of-the-art production equipment
and in a comprehensive training programme for machine operators.
But I was surprised to see that half the factory wasn't in use because several important customers had cancelled orders.
I was reassured that orders are dispatched quickly, and delivery times are impressive,
and distribution isn't a problem - but I'd need to inspect their products more closely to see if the quality's what we require.