What Do Electrical Contractors Value From Distributors?

Electrical Contractor blog

By Andrew Pempek

When it comes to the items they're ordering from distributors, electrical contractors may require a full round of everything available  or just a few select items. For contractors, quantity and volume do not matter as much as getting the parts or products they need, when they need them. If it takes a week to even get acknowledged for parts, it might be time to find a new supplier. Here are a few important details electrical contractors should look for when working with distributors.

Do You Have the Information You Need?

If you are only looking for a few simple parts, there shouldn’t be a problem. The problem can occur when determining the exact nature of your electrical business. Do you need a standard motor or one that meets maximum service temperatures? Do you simply need a motor starter or one that will control speed as well?

If the distributor does not have the item, can it find it for you quickly? Your supplier needs to be able to offer the knowledge, inventory and services you require.

Do You Have the Costs You Need?

Make sure a distributor is transparent with you about its costs at all times. A newer distributor may provide a difference in shipping costs for a few months and then suddenly increase the rates. A small fluctuation is not adverse, but a common and consistent increase is not in your best bottom line. A distributor should include special handling, fast shipping and a solid overall cost.

Expedited Shipping

Shipping one item or 1,000 items is not the priority. The priority lies in receiving what you need and getting the items on time. Waiting for a month to receive a common item is not going to save your business money. While this may come into play for a few select items, it is not routine. You need your products shipped as quickly as possible — waiting for months will only delay business operations.

LEDs

LEDs are just one area to work with, but one good starting point for looking at an entire package. This is an area that is growing consistently. What was a great product two years ago has completely changed now. This is just one of the aspects that requires helpful information from the distributor to get you through the daily basis of the changes. If you do not know how the item works, you cannot explain it to someone else.

Your business needs may only require commercial, residential or industrial services, or it may need all three. You also need the in-house service that provides full requirements of the quality products you use on a daily basis. A solid distributor provides all of the above and more.

Andrew Pempek is vice president of John J. Pempek, Inc., a Chicago electrical contractor specializing in industrial electrical power, maintenance services, control services and more.

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