So I’ve been trying to buy some asset tags, for a little “project” of mine.
These are those durable little metal stickers with a barcode and a number on them, which you stick on things to prove they’re yours, and associate them to an inventory list. Lots of companies use them.
The cheapest I can find in Spain which meet my requirements, are around 350€ + IVA+pp per one hundred.
In the UK? The same product: 39,4₤ (+VAT+p&p) per one hundred. With free personalisation and barcode printing in the format of my choice.
Which means that in Spain this essential little product is about 8 times as expensive as in the UK (even taking into account the exchange rate).
In Spain, I need to email off a proof with my requirements, wait for info, sign the quote, transfer the money, etc, etc, etc. In the UK, I just designed it online and paid for them with a credit card in under five minutes. (Although I had to contact the company involved to arrange shipping to Spain).
Same goes for personalised plastic cards (credit card sized) which I needed last year. I got 1,500 printed and shipped from the UK for virtually the same price as I was quoted for 250 from a Spanish company.
This stuff isn’t really high tech, but it’s part of living in a high tech society. Basic essentials.
You know when company directors talk about the “little things” making the difference between success and failure for a company? They’re often talking about these little things. Simply by making it easy to track assets, linking this stuff in a proper maintenance schedule, making sure stuff doesn’t go missing, etc, a company can save a lot of money. And those tags are the difference between doing asset tagging properly, and doing it badly.
Why the huge price difference? I assume it’s because there are very few companies in Spain supplying this stuff, and not a huge amount of demand. The UK has a high demand and a very competitive printing sector. Plus basic costs, such as social security, etc.
But thanks to the beauty of the EU, I can afford to shop around, and compare prices (in fact, the UK prices were much the same as those offered by German companies, but hey), and buy from the country with the best offer.
Which, sadly, in this case, isn’t Spain.
And mayby those politicians trying to fix the economy here would like to take a minute to ponder this case, before taking any more half witted decisions.