In the Wall Street Journal, an article recently came out detailing how online startups have drastically cut into Gillette’s sales. Whereas traditionally the automatic go-to for a razor purchase was a megastore like Walmart, nowadays there’s another option, an option which for many is preferable by leaps and bounds: online startups such as Dollar Shave Club, 800Razors, and Harry’s, which have already raked in more than $141 million this year alone. And to give you a sense of how fast this non-traditional approach is growing, online razor sales climbed from $111 million in 2013 to $189 million in 2014, forcing a gargantuan like Gillette to reconsider their business ethos.

Taiichi Ohno (an important progenitor of so-called “lean” business model) warns against any non-value added waste that might accrue in the production process in the lag time between when the customer orders a the product and when he or she gets it. Put otherwise, don’t give the customer anything he or she doesn’t want.

Keeping that in mind, Dollar Shave Club’s sales increased rapidly after founder Mike Dubin, in a memorably self-ironizing video, conceded that, while his razors didn’t constitute a significant departure from already-exisiting blades, they were your standard market blades at a fraction of the cost. To do that, he literally shaved off those unwanted features Ohno warned us of, and posed to his customers the following rhetorical question: “Do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a backscratcher, and 10 blades?” Apparently, his brazen honesty paid off. In a mere two day timespan after the video went “viral” (just checked: it’s pushing 20,000,000 views), it had the effect of 12,000 customer subscriptions. And Mike’s still doing something right. From last year, Dollar Shave Club’s revenue has grown exponentially (tripled, in fact), taking in over $60 million.

In Paul Gossi’s “Disposable Static Mixers: A Maturing Industry,” he writes: “As with any commodity, it is difficult to see any appreciable difference between the offerings or performance (in this case, the mixing characteristics) of any of the good producers.” The market for both razors and static mixers having become commodified, no longer is there an “appreciable difference” between product “a” and product “b” in terms of performance. Just as nearly any razor will get you a close, comfortable shave, so too will any static mixer give you whatever mixing ratio you desire. What distinguishes one business from the next, in that sort of market, is price and quality of service.

As noted in a previous post on why to buy static mixers cheap from BTmix rather than China, at BTmix our modus operandi is to get you quality static mixers and mixing elements at the lowest price possible, that is, without having to sacrifice on timely and dependable shipping. Doing business with BTmix is a win-win, really: you get an American made product at the price of an overseas competitor. We keep our prices low via the same business logic as the online razor startups. Go to our webpage and pursue our static mixers!