Technology Propels Integrated Supply

Advancements help distributors find more cost savings for customers.

Integrated supply has entered a new phase of maturity where technology advancements can increase the documented cost savings that benefit end-user customers, according to Mort Harris, author of My World of Integrated Supply and Alliances, in Integrated Supply’s Next Phase.

“When it started, everybody thought it was a fad,” says Harris, former president of industrial distributor Replenex Inc., Eden Prairie, MN. “That fad has gone on for a third of a century. The fad is lasting and changing. And it’s better now than it was originally.”

In some ways integrated supply hasn't changed since the concept's first recorded contract in the 1980s. But technological advances have sparked a host of improvements – specifically the areas within a plant that can become more efficient through an integrator's help.

Technology also has helped distributors document those efficiencies to a customer, says Jack Moore, senior vice president of sales, Hisco Inc., Houston, TX.

Documented cost savings “is critical to our value proposition,” says Moore, whose company publicizes that on its website and even breaks down how Hisco saves customers money through manufacturing process improvements, downtime avoidance, supply chain savings and product design improvements.

“When you think about documented cost savings, there’s a lot of ways to get there,” Moore says. “Regardless of who you are, it’s a matter of, you’ve got to figure out what are you in business to do, what is your primary mission as a company. And you can select different documented cost savings initiatives that you can run based on what your business model is.”

Read more about how integrated supply has evolved and how to adopt it, in Integrated Supply’s Next Phase.

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