Is Your Supply Chain Helping or Hurting Your Profitability?

Contractor going on waste walk

As a contractor, you’ve got so much to do – Win bids, man your jobs, run your business, and more – and you can’t afford to waste a single minute. You need to make your business more efficient, and reduce your Total Cost of Install – but how, exactly?

One way we help customers is with Supply Chain Waste Walks. These on-site reviews find areas where we can help streamline supply chain processes and procedures. Finding and fixing these issues can save a lot of time and money in the long run.

Some of the most common oversights we’ve found in contractor supply chains are purchasing and procurement processes.

Too Much Time Spent on Purchasing

At a full-service electrical contractor in Florida, after doing a supply chain waste walk, we found that purchasing was one of the places their supply chain had the most fat to trim.

For this specific waste walk, Graybar’s Miami manager of customer service, Marci Gonzalez, organized the waste elimination walk team to tour the customer’s facility and job site. The team visited departments from accounts payable to purchasing, talked to project managers and walked the warehouse.

During the walk, the team found the customer was spending a lot of time on ordering the right materials, receiving multiple deliveries, and having to return material that was ordered by mistake.

Graybar recommended improvements including:

  • An app that allowed employees to request material right from their smartphones;
  • Custom catalogs with pictures and favorite lists to make ordering faster, easier and more accurate
  • Advance shipping notices to cut down on errors and returns

Resourcing materials used to take five hours a week. Now it takes 30 minutes.

Before, they were making around 17 returns per month. Now, it’s down to less than six. It’s definitely made everyone’s job easier.

Marci Gonzalez


Other Ways to Improve the Supply Chain

A third Graybar customer found after a waste walk they could eliminate waste in their supply chain by using vendor managed inventory, allowing deliveries outside of normal business hours and by using preferred freight carriers.

While lots of businesses have similar areas that could be made more efficient, every business is different. That’s why it’s worth taking a look at your own business and acknowledging its unique needs.

Want to get a second opinion on your supply chain strategy? Call us at 1-800-241-9965 or fill out the form below to schedule your free waste walk today.

Blog Is Your Supply Chain Helping or Hurting Your Profitability