Slack UK companies losing £2bn a year

The Royal Mail’s Corporate Carelessness report discovered 50% of companies surveyed failed to renew contracts with their suppliers because of missed deadlines, grammatical gaffs, typos and the incorrect spelling of people’s names. Only 10% of companies surveyed said they cancelled contracts because of their cost.

Commenting on the findings David Hands of the Federation of Small Businesses said companies needed to learn to do the ‘little things’ right or ‘suffer the financial consequences’.

Top of the list was meeting deadlines and presenting information in an impressive manner. The preferred method of delivery of the companies surveyed was postal, as documents could be neatly presented and professionally bound.

Simon Samuel, finance director of Target Direct, said e-mailing or faxing information was not a good idea as e-mails could be easily deleted, while faxes were often difficult to read.

He went on to say: ‘Receiving mail by post means that I’m not at the mercy of the vagaries of technology, should my PC crash I still have the document.’

Other findings of the survey included the inappropriateness of ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ addresses, with finance companies preferring documents addressed in person. Furthermore suppliers should consider dressing up to the level of their customers, and doing away with untidy attire.

Commissioner of the report Tony Boyle said suppliers should take nothing for granted and focus on the details, otherwise face the prospect of serious damage to their business growth.

Related reading