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#27560 - 07/21/03 04:07 PM How do you order materials?  
Happi_Man  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 206
Columbus, Ohio - USA
Hey - just curious as to how folks go about ordering materials and tracking costs and whatnot. I usually order materials by the job but is there a better way? Seems like I might get better prices in I could order 1000 1250's rather than ordering them 100 at a time per job. But then how do you track your job costs without adding a bunch of administrative work?

Just looking for ideas. Thanks.

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#27561 - 07/21/03 06:17 PM Re: How do you order materials?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
do you use a job name on the invoices for billing reference?

do your field workers write up a materials list?

#27562 - 07/21/03 07:12 PM Re: How do you order materials?  
arseegee  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 324
Statesboro, GA USA
I buy bulk and save a few bucks. It's good to get the suppliers to play the price war game like I do on a daily basis. I buy romex 25Kft at a time, cases of recepts, switches, boxes, connectors, wire nuts and breakers.

I pay $2.67 for 20A sp GE breakers and that's cheap for around here. The best thing is when we leave the shop, we got everything we need. NO TRIPS TO THE SUPPLY HOUSE during the day, which means more work gets done! I have them bring the supplies to the shop and sometimes they even restock the shelves!

I have a spread sheet with all the items on it to order by and to bill T&M jobs by. It works great for me.

[This message has been edited by arseegee (edited 07-21-2003).]

#27563 - 07/21/03 09:46 PM Re: How do you order materials?  
golf junkie  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
York, NE

How much ($) do you have tied up in inventory?

Allthough I hate to carry inventory I'm also tired of jobs grinding to a halt because the supply houses are all carrying less and less inventory. It seems like if we don't keep it on hand it can take weeks to get. So as time goes on we are carrying more and more inventory. [Linked Image]

#27564 - 07/21/03 11:11 PM Re: How do you order materials?  
arseegee  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 324
Statesboro, GA USA
GJ, it would depend on what time of the month due to the billing cycle of the suppliers. Since we do 75% resi new construction I dont keep a bunch of pipe, thhn, carflex, lay-ins, wall packs, mc or the like on hand. I try to estimate those jobs real tight and keep only enough to catch a small job.

But for the resi supplies, I may have as much as $20k on hand at any given time. But it doesnt spoil... at least i think it doesnt.

#27565 - 07/22/03 08:23 AM Re: How do you order materials?  
Happi_Man  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 206
Columbus, Ohio - USA
Yep - PO on every order. My guys in the field will go on a day before the job starts - get a good material list and then drop it off to me at the shop. I'll fax it in to the SH the day before and they will pick it up on their way to the job. That's what has worked for us so far - but then we are only a three man operation at this point...

Another thing I do is keep a spreadsheet of all the supplies I have bought - what job they were for and how much we paid for them. Then it automatically calculates my mark-up so I can see what I should be charging for them too. Then once a job is done I can go back and see what I spent on materials to make sure I stayed within my budget...

But like arseegee says, trips to the SH are a killer and I'd rather get more work done out of the field.

I ain't got 20K layin around to stock up on materials anyway...

#27566 - 07/22/03 05:38 PM Re: How do you order materials?  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
Happi, Will the supply house not deliver to you. We're not a large company, but I buy from 2 supply houses and either one would bring me a wire nut if I asked(no charge for delivery). You should keep a stock of common wire, boxes, devices, etc. Just the basics. This would cut down on a lot of the trips to the supply house. My guys rarely need to go to the supply house.

#27567 - 07/23/03 05:30 PM Re: How do you order materials?  
Happi_Man  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 206
Columbus, Ohio - USA
Actually, the supply house is right down the street from me. Its not a problem to pick it up (usually, I pick it up so its here at the shop aka my garage). We're not small, we're tiny - total company size = 3. So, I fear spending the money on even the basics. I usually order a few extra of this and that with each job order...that keeps a little "overstock" on the truck.

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