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#71222 - 10/24/06 08:12 AM Supply house experiences
Winlectric Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 7
Loc: Shelton, CT, USA
Ok, I know Im opening up a can of worms here…
I am opening an electrical supply house up here in the North East (USA). I am looking for some feedback to see what has worked and what hasn’t worked. So tell me, what is the best and worst that you have encountered with a supply house.


[This message has been edited by Winlectric (edited 10-25-2006).]
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#71223 - 10/24/06 10:48 AM Re: Supply house experiences
Sparks30 Offline
Member
Registered: 03/23/02
Posts: 125
Loc: Connecticut.usa
Just one thing I'm sure there will be others. You calling in an order for pick-up three hours later you go there to find out they do not have instock. Nobody calls to tell you they are out.

[This message has been edited by Sparks30 (edited 10-24-2006).]
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#71224 - 10/24/06 11:44 AM Re: Supply house experiences
Dnkldorf Offline
Member
Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1064
Loc: nowhere usa
Screw one guy, one time, and he'll never come back. And he may end up being your competitions biggest consumer down the road.

There is plenty of other supply houses out there.

Good luck in your business.
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#71225 - 10/24/06 12:01 PM Re: Supply house experiences
HCE727 Offline
Member
Registered: 11/11/05
Posts: 186
Loc: Delaware County, PA, USA
Answer the phone a 1/2 hour before closing, open early, double check orders, be open to new products, just a couple of things. Good luck, electricians are *****, I know I am one or both.

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 10-24-2006).]
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#71226 - 10/24/06 12:23 PM Re: Supply house experiences
Tom Offline
Member
Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1044
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Don't sell across the counter to anyone without a contractors license or electricians license. If you do decide to sell to the public, have a small counter space reserved for non-electricians. I don't know how many times I've had to wait while a salesman explained the finer points of a 3 way or other electrical item to a DIY'er who should have gone to the big blue or orange box.
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#71227 - 10/24/06 12:44 PM Re: Supply house experiences
velect Offline
Member
Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 81
Loc: st joseph mi usa
Have inside salespeople answer the phone calls...........not your counter help
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#71228 - 10/24/06 12:48 PM Re: Supply house experiences
Dnkldorf Offline
Member
Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1064
Loc: nowhere usa
Be open all day saturday.

Give away lots of hockey tickets.

Have a emergency call number and someone who can open up in off hours.(premium charge)

Ok, the first 2 are more of a wish.
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#71229 - 10/24/06 01:48 PM Re: Supply house experiences
SteveFehr Offline
Member
Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1195
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Quote:
Don't sell across the counter to anyone without a contractors license or electricians license. If you do decide to sell to the public, have a small counter space reserved for non-electricians. I don't know how many times I've had to wait while a salesman explained the finer points of a 3 way or other electrical item to a DIY'er who should have gone to the big blue or orange box.
I hope you never decide to DIY duct work in your house, Tom. The HVAC supply guys have this down COLD! The big boxes don't carry a fraction of what you need, and it's such a freaking PITA to get any of the HVAC supply houses to sell to you without lying to them.

That two that finally would sell to me (one local and one online) are now $500 and $2500 richer respectively. And the others? Well, I'm sure they've got plenty of business and don't need mine.
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#71230 - 10/24/06 03:04 PM Re: Supply house experiences
Jps1006 Offline
Member
Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Northern IL
Okay, here's one from outside the box. If you end up getting the basics down pretty well and you want to put your supply house over the top to take all your competion's customers, put a deli in there too. I'm serious. Have soups & sandwiches maybe drinks and coffee and donoughts. Don't want to spread youself to thin? Sub it out. Lease a small space and set it up as a seperate counter.

Now you'll have the lunch rush. Guys that would normally put off running to the supply house for a small part won't put it off if they can grab it at lunch. And as long as they're there, they'll grab something else too. Then make sure you're moring shift and evening shifts overlap at lunch time so you have twice the personell on hand.

Even if you don't go with the deli idea, try to figure out a way to have some extra counter help at luch time. Guys will always shoot over because they're out anyway for lunch. Nothing worse than standing in line because there is a lunch ruch and half the help is out to lunch.
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#71231 - 10/24/06 05:34 PM Re: Supply house experiences
e57 Offline
Member
Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2876
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Free - fast delivery. Even for small orders for account customers. The amount you spend having a minimum wage guy drive all day dropping stuff to guys like me who hate to drive will pay you back 3-fold in the amount of buisiness you do with it. For us, thats time there, and time back at Journey+ wages, and lost time on job. Not to mention loss of a good parking space... Owners will love you if thier guys never see your shop.

Invest in a Symbol system! There is nothing like being billed for the wrong thing, or not being able to read a hand written slip.

Print an easy to use catolog for common items so a sheet can be faxed from site right to you. And have easy numbering system to avoid over the phone mistakes. For instance: Yesturday I ordered 4Sq-3/0-5/8 rise rings - I got 4/0-3/0 5/8 Rise rings. But if I could say - "Quanity, ten - 1586" Maybey I would have gotten the right thing?
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