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How Distributors Can Increase Their Manufacturing Customers' Productivity

Your customers rely on your expertise as much as they do the quality of your product. As a distributor, it’s important that you demonstrate an ability to reduce your customers’ downtime and increase productivity. Below are a few tips for guiding your manufacturing customers so that they can run a more efficient operation.

Tool Crib Management
If a manufacturing customer needs a specific tool on the fly, how difficult would it be to locate it? Tool crib and tool crib accessories distributors can significantly increase a customer’s productivity by promoting better tool access and tracking options.

Strict Inventory Control: Your customer should never stop counting inventory. And they should limit who has access to the tool crib. A tool crib free-for-all will almost certainly cost your customer time and money.

Booking Software: The bigger a manufacturer’s operation, the more important it is to be precise when tracking tools. Your customer shouldn’t rely on pen and paper; guide them to the right tool crib management software to log, book and keep better track of each tool. They’ll notice right away how much more efficiently an entire operation runs when workers can reserve tools, search availability and track equipment that is in use.

Mobile Tool Cribs: Often, it makes more sense to move an entire set of tools rather than attempting to keep track of individual ones. Mobile tool cribs are a reliable way to deploy a full tool crib as needed. They also can improve your customer’s ability to track tools by knowing exactly who is using it and for what purpose.

Effective Cable and Cord Use
Cable, cord and wire suppliers have a valuable expertise for manufacturing customers. If your customers aren’t using the right cords, or if they aren’t using them correctly, that can cost them. Work closely with your customers and volunteer your recommendations based on the following:

Proper Placement: Are your customers making the most of resources (not to mention available space) with their current cord placement? As a cable, cord and wire distributor, you know the safest and most efficient way to place industrial cables and cords. Offer suggestions to increase your customers’ efficiency.

Cord Types: Your customers rely on you to guide them to the right cord or cable type. Will standard cabling elements get the job done? Would you recommend protective elements, such as moisture or chemical barriers? Should your customer be concerned about rodents interfering with placed cables? You know the risks and consequences of using improper equipment, so let your customers know.

Better Cutting Tools
It’s as true in manufacturing as it is in the kitchen: the better your cutting tools, the more efficiently you can do your job. A cutting tools and abrasives distributor should make that case to their manufacturing customers — notably CNC operators. Consider the following when making suggestions for better efficiency:

Waste Reduction: Sub-standard cutting tools can waste time by requiring frequent maintenance, or even slowing actual production. The same is true for wasting physical materials. A bad cut means wasted materials — costing both time and money.

Proper Maintenance: It’s not always selling a new product; sometimes your advice is to make the best use of existing equipment. Are all machines properly adjusted and calibrated? Has all equipment been properly cared for to ensure maximum efficiency?

Efficient Conveyor Layout
For many manufacturers, the conveyor is the in-house heart of efficiency — connecting every end of the facility with its appropriate counterpart. Of course, even small miscalculations in conveyor layout can add seconds, minutes or hours to operations. Over time, that adds up.

Power transmission and bearings distributors are uniquely positioned to recommend more efficient conveyor layouts. As you work with different customers, see how they configure their conveyors, and take note of whether it’s the most logical option. Where are people going compared with where product is moving? Could a conveyor be better positioned to meet warehouse or factory needs? Chances are, as a parts distributor, you’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. Share your insight with your customers to help them increase efficiency.

Whatever product you specialize in, leverage your unique knowledge of the subject to ensure your customers are being efficient. Help them improve their business, and increase the likelihood that you’ll forge long-lasting partnerships.

About the author:
Carol Sabovik is the Marketing Manager of TPC Wire & Cable Corp. in Macedonia, Ohio. TPC Wire & Cable is a supplier of wire, cable and connectors used in harsh industrial manufacturing environments. TPC’s products are designed and engineered to withstand harsh conditions including abrasion, chemicals, constant flexing and extreme temperatures.


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