Day 3 – Partnering with Suppliers to Decrease Job Cost
Do you remember vehicle shopping before the internet? People shopped several dealerships in search of the best price. Some would wait for inventory closeout and prices to be slashed. While haggling was as much part of the buying process as selecting a vehicle, with the evolution of the internet, people can now shop the entire country from their home. This forced dealerships to level prices across the board and change the way they do business. Today, shopping for a vehicle is not just about the lowest price. It’s also about finding the best added value.
How does the example of purchasing a vehicle translate to partnering with suppliers to decrease job cost?
When looking at direct job costs, your largest expense will likely be labor and materials. These items are generally managed by two different people. Contractors rely on Foreman to manage project labor. While typically a Project Manager or Estimator search for the best price on material. With the advent of technology and fierce competition, supply houses are forced to take a different approach on how they do business. Many supply houses now offer value add options as a way to partner with contractors.
Contractors can now use and deploy a supply house like a special branch of their company. Utilizing them for several different services and in several different scenarios. Job site Foreman can call for added support when pulling wire or stocking job site work stations. Project Managers and Estimators can consult with a supply house on layout, design, special pricing and material organization. Saving labor hours, reducing material over-run, increasing safety and putting money back in your pocket. Every supply house will have different options available. Below is a list of options we are aware of.
Job Site Material Delivery
- Reducing travel time to and from the shop or supply house is a simple way to save on labor. Ask your supplier to deliver material directly to your job site.
- Ask your sales rep to order wire with factory installed pulling heads. This reduces prep time to pull wire.
- Request special wire pulling equipment. Some suppliers have access to wire pulling/pushing equipment thought their manufactures. Pulling equipment reduces labor hours and can increase safety when used correctly.
- Requesting wire to be delivered on compartment reels saves time and reduces safety hazards.
Layout & Design
- Often times suppliers have in house design teams with powerful CAD software. Most suppliers are happy to help layout and deign projects with contractors. This can be very advantageous for smaller contractors looking to compete in the commercial sector.
- Ask your supplier if they offer crib stocking or consignment stocking. This is a great way to fill your shop with inventory without a large cash burden.
Job Box Stocking
- Several supply houses offer onsite cribs or job box stocking. Ask your sales rep if they can supply a pre-stocked job box.
Safety Seminars & CEUs
- The one item all contractors across the US have in common is the need for job site safety. Keeping employees safe and OSHA happy are at the top of the list on a job site. Many supply houses offer safety classes that are OSHA certified.
- For those working in states that require continuing education to keep their license active. Many supply houses offer state certified classes.