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What to look for in a supply chain distributor partner

supply chain distributor partner

supply chain distributor partnerA trusted one-stop shop

Whether you’re on a construction crew, working for a utility, operating in the industrial world or specializing in a similar market, it’s important to partner with a distributor that serves as a one-stop shop for all your needs. This approach will help you save time and money.

Your distributor should also employ specialists who are experienced experts in the fields mentioned above. These professionals should be able to provide you with a comprehensive analysis of the latest products, services and material available today.

Not only should your distributor offer you expertise from behind the counter, they should also be willing to work right beside you in the field, providing your team with on-site services. This usually results in multiple benefits, including you having access to valuable training and less material to keep on hand.

Your hub for services and solutions

supply chain distributor partnerYour business is unique, which means you require customized services and solutions to get the job done. Supply chain services and solutions help you improve performance and reduce downtime. Why not let experts manage your material in the field so you can focus on what you do best.

Bottom line: you should partner with a distributor that asks the right questions, listens closely and designs customized solutions to meet your specific needs. You’ll also stay a step ahead of the competition in the process. Material management through supply chain services is your easy button, ensuring you have the right material in the right place at the right time.

In addition to accessing the right products you need for your operation, partnering with the right distributor will result in you having access to a host of services and solutions, such as the following:

  • Job site boxes and carts are delivered fully loaded, giving your crews secure and convenient access to the materials they need – right at the job site, so they can focus on the task at hand.
  • Job site containers, sometimes called conex boxes, provide secure material storage for outdoor and seasonal projects.
  • Job site trailers also help ensure materials are available when and where they’re needed and can be replenished as material is used or project requirements change.
  • Kitting, which involves preassembly in some cases, is delivered right to the job site, providing huge time savings. Order one part and receive a complete bill, reducing errors and simplifying recordkeeping and receiving.
  • Material staging and storage ensures that the materials you’ll need later are securely stored, keeping your crews working, not sorting or searching for material. This service also minimizes damage and misplacement.
  • Vendor-managed inventory uses bar-coded scanner-based technology, helping you control inventory and keep your shelves full. This customized service improves inventory turns, lowers costs, reduces stock-outs and improves cash flow.

Be sure to ask your distributor about any additional, more specific services and solutions they can provide for your unique applications. Learn more from this video:

Technical support

Need assistance with design, specification or process improvement initiatives? Work with a distributor who employs a wide range of industry experts, such as the following:

  • Application Engineers
  • Cutting Tool Specialists
  • Communications Product Managers
  • Industrial Automation Specialists
  • Lighting and Energy Solutions Specialists
  • MRO Product Managers
  • Supply Chain Specialists
  • Utility Specialists
  • Valve Maintenance Specialists

Along with having access to these experts, you should also be able to try out the newest products and technology right where you work. Be sure to partner with a distributor that deploys a demo fleet.


Stay up-to-date on products, proper installation methods, certification, standards and testing through regular and timely training opportunities, some of which qualify for continuing education credits. Additionally, seek professionals who can help you shape internal safety training programs.

Business solutions

Limit the number of people having to touch transactional tasks with automated pricing and processes like these:

Accessing these solutions helps you become more efficient and error-free.

Vendor partner services

Your distributor partner should have a network of the industry’s leading vendors for solutions to your most difficult applications and challenges. Here are some examples:

Having access to these types of vendor services allows you to focus on your core business.


Ensuring the products you need are there when you need them is paramount to your success. Work with a distributor that holds dedicated emergency stock and high-quality products available in locations throughout the U.S.

A supply chain distributor partner that’s there for you

It’s important to work with professionals who provide 24/7 support. When unexpected challenges arise, supply chain professionals should have the products and resources available when you need them the most.

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