In this day and age of online purchasing, finding a supplier that actually carries what a customer is seeking has become more challenging than ever. Sure, the internet promises nearly anything our hearts desire, but as for sources really having what we want in stock? It’s becoming rarer and rarer. While this phenomenon might be merely annoying to someone wanting to browse different types of electronics, for example, it can be far more serious for customers in an industrial environment. When operators in a facility or plant need a part, they often need it quickly. Valves, gauges, hoses, tubing, and fittings are all vital to industrial operations. If one of them malfunctions or breaks, any delays in getting a new one can create serious consequences, including sometimes shutting down entire systems.
At Southwest Process Control, we pay close attention to our inventory. We keep a broad and specified supply of components based on our customers’ usage and feedback. Our goal is to be able to ship 95% or more of the orders we receive on the same day they are placed. In order to make this possible, we keep a wide range of products on hand. This strategy is not embraced by all distributors. In fact, over the last ten years, many distributors have attempted to increase their profits by making deep cuts in their inventory levels. We strongly disagree with this short-sighted strategy. Our focus is to ensure that all of our clients’ requirements are met as soon as possible, including rush and emergency needs. We aim to be the source that has the components our customers need the first time they request them.
The oil and gas industry is well known for grueling schedules and operating conditions that put even the highest quality parts to the test. One of our clients, a global oilfield service company, has a need for a specific alloy of tube fittings. They were not always able to access these fittings in a timely manner, however. They were generally used offshore, and could have been called for at any time. This included late nights and weekends due to the extended hours of operation that this company provides. The alloy used for these fittings is highly specified; there was no acceptable substitute for it, and no US manufacturer or stocking distributor carried these fittings when our customer needed them.
To solve this problem, we placed a large stock order with our manufacturer to keep an appropriate supply of these fittings at our facility in Houston. In addition, we installed a consigned inventory of these fittings at their facility. Our careful inventory control strategies made this client able to avoid the pitfalls they would encounter when they needed to re-stock these fittings at inconvenient times. This ensured that our customer could access these fittings whenever they needed them—day, night, weekends or holidays. While other companies attempt to save money by making inventories less available, we cement relationships by partnering with companies, determining their specific needs, and delivering a solution that really works. To learn how our inventory processes can directly benefit your company, please contact us today.