so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
(William Carlos Williams, 1923)
You can still make a living with the things Williams mentions in his poem. Most of us won’t. But even though times have changed since 1923 when it was first published, the poem continues to resonate. Our livelihoods still depend on the products we utilize and consume to get the job done, whether that means banging on a keyboard all day or banging on nails.
In every industry, supplies are essential.
From a father-and-son contractor outfit to a massive corporation or municipality, someone has to be responsible for the industrial supply chain. The better that person or team is, the more seamless their work becomes. But if they are struggling, the health of the business or organization is at risk. Clients go underserved. Capital gets trapped on shelves collecting dust. That’s why inventory supply managers have such a complex and critical role.
Every paper clip really does count.
Inventory investors know better than to ignore the details. But then, if a business is going to fail based on the fate of a single paper clip, it’s probably past time to get the old resume in order anyway. While the details do matter, advanced inventory management software and tracking systems can handle the bulk of the clerical duties.
Automating the routine aspects of industrial supply management allows purchasing professionals to focus on more important tasks.
For example, inventory managers need to understand the entire cost structure of their supply chain. That means analyzing a potential supplier’s prices is just the beginning. Industrial supplies are driven by “derived demand,” which simply means that the need for those supplies depends on the consumer demand for the things those supplies help to produce. A wise inventory manager will build relationships only with suppliers who understand derived demand, and who know that complete shipments with reliable lead times is the best way to control carrying costs.
Carrying costs can fluctuate from 20-30%, endangering a company’s total return on inventory investment.
The longer you have something, either still in the mail or sitting unused on your shelf, the more carrying cost it accrues. These costs can include interest on credit, labor costs, insurance, and even shrinkage. When deciding on a supplier, be sure the supplier takes the time to understand the gross margin of your return on investment.
At Steiner Electric, we know that our business is only as healthy as the businesses and communities we serve. That’s why we take pride in our role as an industrial supplies management resource for our clients. Let us audit your industrial supply chain to make sure it is operating as efficiently as possible, because “so much depends” on the supplies of your trade.