Quantity versus Quality


Every day I encounter the question, “what is better, quantity or quality?” Should I buy a shampoo from L’Occitane of 8.5 ounces for $20 or should I purchase a shampoo from the brand Suave of 12.6 oz. for $3.49? Should I pay $4 for coffee from Starbucks or should I just go to Dunkin Doughnuts and pay half of that for a coffee? Recently I have experienced the other side of the quality vs. quantity debate, no longer as a customer but as insider. The questions that I ask myself are no longer “should I buy this or should I buy that? Should I spend a few extra dollars in the organic restaurants or will McDonalds do?  Instead they have become questions such as, Is the company that I work for working towards providing the best quality service possible or are they just choosing on having more quantity and leaving the quality in the backburner?

I worked for a small catering company who specialized in wedding, house parties and corporate events. If you were an employee from that company you knew that quality was always the top priority. I guess you can say we lived by the motto “the customer is always right,” and “there is never such an answer as a no.” To other people who work as servers like me, who knew about the company, they knew that not only were the customers would be treated with the outmost quality but that the staff will be treated the same way. The quality given went from the food to the service provided.

A few months back that same company was bought by a much bigger company who specialized in event planning. Their goal is to gain market share in the catering business, and possibly become one of the biggest catering and event planning business in the city.

The strategies used by this company in the overtaking was to let go of the personal and bring new and innovative minds. New workers were hired for less, without being properly trained or told what the company stood for. Old employees were left to train new employees on procedures and principles that were not in place any longer and that new ownership had yet not communicated.

As we saw on our first day of class with the activity paper puppets, sometimes certain activities take so long to accomplish or we are just so focused in reaching that goal in the fastest possible way that we sacrifice the quality put into a product. In paper puppets, some of the paper that was damaged, passed through the line of workers completely unnoticed.

The questions presented are:

Do you have to sacrifice quality in order to obtain quantity? Can there be a balance?

Does hiring cheaper labor means sacrificing quality?

Is ten thousand replicas of a Picasso painting worth more than a real Picasso?



In the past I have worked in retail for five consecutive years. I have worked for many well known companies, such as Victoria’s Secret, Hollister Co., and Wilson’s Leather to name a few. Customer service was our primary role and we were really focused on the customers. But other than that, inventory was just as important. It was the backbone of the company.  Without a sufficient amount of inventory, we would not be able to make our sales.

As an employee at Victoria’s Secret, we had a huge back room where we had our inventory stock. It was shelves and and rows full of the many items we sold. I was in charge of counting all the items we had in stock every two months. I would record the quantity and sizes of each item we had. It was torturous due to how stocked our inventory was. But in return this was great for our customers. If they didn’t find their size on the sales floor, more than likely we had it in the back room. At times we would be at fault for ordering more than what we needed, which made our stock room a bit messy. That caused for our inventoried items to be missplaced at times.


In contrast to having an abundant stock room, as an employee at Wilson’s Leather, I noticed over time we were not efficiently stocked. Our back room was much too small to have a large inventory of leather coats. This caused turmoil between the company and its customers. If the jacket on the sales floor was not in their size, more than likely we did not have it in the back. We would use the alternative of calling other Wilson’s Leather stores in the area and send the customer to another location. This caused us to lose many sales and new customers. It seemed as though we were more of a boutique due to the size of our store and how it could not accomadate a well stocked inventory room.

In conclusion, inventory plays a vital role in a company’s overall performance and customer service satisfaction. Inventory generates sales and allows customers to have confidence in the company, for having the item they want. At Victoria’s Secret we would get audited yearly and it allowed us to see how many total items we should have , compared to what we truly have.


Do you think Inventory truly affects a company’s overall performance?