Graybar SmartStock® Vending Increases Production Efficiencies At Large Equipment Manufacturer


Graybar SmartStock Vending Increases Production Efficiencies At Large Equipment Manufacturer

Since 1921, Tampa Armature Works (TAW) has been a leading distributor of motors, generators, transformers, switchgear and all rotating apparatus in the southeastern United States. A total solutions provider, TAW services, sells and maintains power generators and distribution systems, while also providing predictive maintenance and manufacturing of custom equipment power solutions, including metal enclosed and metal clad switchgear, mining equipment power distribution and power generation for military and homeland security.

In early 2014, TAW – Custom Equipment Division Purchasing Manager Paul Glassman began looking for ways to increase efficiencies at the production facility. While reviewing the company’s internal processes, Glassman quickly recognized an opportunity. Too often linemen were experiencing shortages of consumable parts while building out products, resulting in managers having to track down items throughout the building. The process was inefficient, frustrating and lacked accountability.

To help improve TAW’s inventory management, Glassman reached out to Graybar Manager, Industrial Business Jason Rush and Graybar Industrial Sales Representative TJ Allen. Graybar is a leading distributor of high quality electrical, communications and data networking products and specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services.

The Solution

Instead of expanding the storeroom with more parts which would require tracking and constant replenishing, Rush and Allen proposed Graybar SmartStock® Vending. With Graybar SmartStock Vending, parts would be accessible at the point of use and tracking and material replenishment would be handled electronically through Graybar’s computer inventory software system.

"Our goal was to make life at TAW easier by handling small parts with a more consistent, reliable vending system and process," said Rush. "Ultimately, we wanted to help make TAW more efficient."

In March, four Graybar SmartStock Vending machines were installed in the facility. Set up in pairs, the SupplyLocker and SupplyBay stand side-by-side in two strategic locations, housing materials such as ties, terminals, tape, lugs and labels. Technicians use an access card and PIN to get materials directly from the machines. When replenishments are needed, the machine sends a message to Graybar. All items are then billed to an open monthly purchase order. Graybar is also stocking back-up inventory at the local branch to cover peaks of demand and replenishment for TAW.


By implementing the Graybar SmartStock Vending machines, TAW no longer has to worry about lost downtime due to material shortages.

"The vending process eliminates questions about what was ordered, received and invoiced," said Glassman. "It eliminates frustration between shop, purchasing and management. We now know where all of those parts are, and in what quantity. The parts are there when we need them."

Pleased with the results, TAW is currently looking for ways to expand vending and virtual inventory assistance for larger items that will not fit into a vending machine.

"Since implementing Graybar SmartStock Vending we've reduced our inventory by about 25 percent and significantly reduced our total cost of acquisition. Plus, Graybar reporting gives us clear visibility into what is here and what is coming. With 24-48 hour projects that is critical," said Glassman.

In addition to Graybar SmartStock Vending, Graybar is also providing a wire management program for TAW, which includes delivering pre-cut wire that is tagged and ready to install, completely eliminating wasted wire from cut reels.


About Graybar SmartStock Vending

Graybar SmartStock Vending is designed to assist with the management and accountability of your materials. All of our vending solutions connect to Graybar’s computer inventory software system, allowing us to efficiently replenish and handle the ordering, delivering and billing of materials. Learn more about Graybar SmartStock Vending Solution or fill out the form below.

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