Setting customers’ minds at rest. This remarkable phrase belongs particularly to the packaging world and, for those who are not used to it, it is liable to give rise to misunderstanding. A petfood concern, for example, is looking for someone to work on the improvement of its packaging systems. ‘This,’ it says, ‘calls for an understanding not only of the importance of quality specifications, vendor assurance and test methodology’, and then goes on to list what else is required of this paragon. ‘Quality specifications’ and ‘test methodology’ cause no problems, but ‘vendor assurance’ is a difficult one. The ‘vendor’ in this case is not the petfood company itself, but the shop which sells its products, and it is not the petfood people who need to be assured about their vendors, which ‘vendor assurance’ could well mean, but the vendors who must be given confidence that the cans will not leak or burst or the packets split. ‘Vendor assurance’ is one of those over-compressed phrases which would benefit from an extra word or two.
KeywordsAssure Beach Pebble Cobble
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