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Re: Supply house experiences #71242 10/25/06 11:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,397
Trumpy Offline
Welcome to the group, mate!. [Linked Image]

I would go along with a few of Jps1006's comments.
When I was an EC, there was (and still is) a supply house here that used to offer a clean smoko room where you could make yourself a coffee and sit down and relax before you got what you came in for.
{This in itself was a god-send when I was doing Faults work, you never know how long your customer has been working in the morning before he finally gets to your door, he might have started at 1 or 2am and a coffee looks like a beer does at 5pm.}
I know all the staff there on first name (or nick-name) basis.
They all know me in the same respect as well.
Everyone that works there has extensive trade knowledge, most being semi-retired electricians or technicians and that in itself has led me back there when I've had a complex problem to nut out.
Having an on-call person 24/7 is almost imperative these days, because chances are a guy will get to a job and find that he hasn't got some piece of gear that he's used up or the like.
Just my $0.02 worth.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Supply house experiences #71243 10/25/06 11:25 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Zapped Offline
I like getting call backs when I inquire about a product. I know you guys are busy like the rest of us, but we need this information on pricing and availability so we can inform our clients before they will approve the work.

I recently switched supply houses because my regular supplier didn't get back to me in a timely manner, and I had no choice. The items in question were 5 stainless steel pedestals. The order was worth $15,000. I'm guessing a supplier gave up about $7500 in profit because they couldn't be bothered to spend a few minutes on the phone.

Not a mistake you want to get in the habbit of if you'd like to be successful.

Re: Supply house experiences #71244 10/25/06 01:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,612
gfretwell Offline
Many years ago I built a large addition as "Owner/Builder". The electrical supply house agreed to deal with me if I would show him my permit and only submit big orders. The reality was I only had one order.
I did have a good plan.
I picked up the odds and ends at the hardware store.
Using the same strategy I even got an HVAC suppler to sell to me but again I only had one order. I still couldn't buy the actual "machine" from him but he did sell me all the other hardware. Evidently that was the rule at the time.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Supply house experiences #71245 10/25/06 02:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 7
Winlectric Offline OP
Junior Member
That’s why I am opening a supply house. Too many times I see the project manager get a job and it sits on his desk for about a week before he even opens the folder. Or when you’re special order that you needed 3 days ago finally comes in, the shipping receiving guy does not call to let you know its here. I can go on and on but you know the drill.
As for the incompetent help, I will always have one ready to jump on the counter to help that special contractor who pay’s on his account every 90 days! [Linked Image]

Re: Supply house experiences #71246 10/25/06 09:11 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
Nobody mentioned Coffee and Donuts????

I too will say open the back side - You'll be surprised how many guys will just pick thier own order for speed. Sometimes I have orders I could pick myself faster than translating it - then just check out at the counter. And often as mentioned-if its known you have it - you'll sell more of it.

Now this is a wierd one: Here there are a bunch of Chineese shops that I use for a few reasons, and only recently have other shops picked up on thier technique. 80% of walk-in orders are self-picked to keep things moving / over-head low. Free delivery of orders. They dont have it, they buy it from another shop for you. It seems to be a wholesale agreement between competitors - favor to favor. That way the shop you go to says, "Oh, I'll have that for you this afternoon." (And you'll spot the packing stamp of the other store...) The ones who don't do that tell you it'll be a week to get in from deep-space and that holds up work.... So stay friendly with the competition. [Linked Image] It helps keep customers....

Oh, and the big one! Rent heavy tools... Hydralic benders, theaders, tuggers, testing equipment. And do some in-house work. Theres one shop I go to that does in-house bends. The owner's an old EC, will bend up most simple bends from an over the phone describtion for me, but doesn't do that for everyone. I tell him I want a 4 1/2" off-set on 3"RMC, or a 90-3' stub on 2"RMC, and just charges per bend, sends it on the truck with the rest of my order. Most guys just go out back and get charged per bend/per thread, or rent the equipment for the day. But this type of thing as a service or place to obtain equipment that big shops would have, helps the small guy look like a big one. And the type of stuff we need is not often avalable at Hertz or U-save rental.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Supply house experiences #71247 10/26/06 12:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
Sixer Offline
"Keep some electrical contractor’s cards on hand to hand out to the guy crying because I won’t design and tell him how to install the electrical for his new pool."

Careful with this. Be sure to have cards for every EC that deals with you, and don't recommend one over another.


"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"
Re: Supply house experiences #71248 10/26/06 01:35 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 33
jeepmudman Offline
open at least a have day on saturday. And dont forget about good relationships with local Industrial companies, I am in the industrial field, there is big money here. And also go to your compation and check them out, look for good counter help and try to sway them your way. good luck

Re: Supply house experiences #71249 10/26/06 08:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 8
steener Offline
New Member
When new products (tools, parts, quantity sales, etc.) come out, have them on the counter. I like new stuff that saves time, or makes the job easier/cleaner.

Re: Supply house experiences #71250 10/28/06 12:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 110
trobb Offline
Most places (maybe all, I am not familiar) have noise ordinances. Maybe being open before those times would be nice- the sparks come in before they can even be working to get their parts and then can work a full day (maybe a lunchtime run) with minimal interuption sicne they don't lose that time in the morning.

Re: Supply house experiences #71251 10/28/06 02:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,397
Trumpy Offline
Nobody mentioned Coffee and Donuts????
Umm, can't you read?.
I mentioned that a few posts ago.

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