Why a national account provider is the best solution for your electrical MRO needs


Electrical and lighting MRO is much more than buying switches and conduit. This is key infrastructure that keeps plants operating. Assembly lines run on electricity and without proper expertise and inventory on hand, an electrical problem spells trouble for a plant.

Maintaining electrical systems is a strategic procurement category and it needs a national account provider with warehouses near your plants—like IM Supply. When your plants go down, you need the right parts right away, not in two days. It’s the difference between a partner and supplier. A supplier will sell you what you need. A partner will take it to the next level, by also counseling plants on ways to save money and reduce downtime.

A proper MRO partner will help you determine which parts should be stored onsite because they are critical in addition to non-critical items warehoused locally for quick access. Also, your partner will help with preventative maintenance to avoid assembly line stoppage in the first place.

Plants rely on their suppliers for technical expertise

When it comes to MRO, Amazon Business is a new player in the field and ease of ordering is its primary selling point. What it lacks though, is the hands-on attention that an MRO solution providers deliver. At a time when companies are downsizing in-house resources, plants are forced to rely more heavily on their suppliers for electrical and lighting expertise. Traditional MRO partners operate down in the trenches with plant personnel, performing crib crawls and data analysis to discover inefficiencies.

With a crib crawl, your MRO partner can identify excess or obsolete inventory and get that off your system for immediate savings. Space is money at a plant, so data analysis is crucial to determining ideal on-hand inventory quantities. MRO buyers expect a personal touch and industry experience that traditional providers excel at providing.

That expertise extends to knowing what parts are critical and which aren’t. The right MRO vendor will help you streamline inventory and save you time and money by warehousing parts locally for quick delivery. This model trims operating costs for you, frees up storage space in your facilities and ensures you always have what you need when you need it.

Your MRO supplier should lower total cost of ownership

Not only that, but your MRO supply partner can add value by bringing a total cost of ownership (TCO) mindset to your plants. Looking at things through this lens requires a holistic approach to electrical and lighting supply.

Amazon is optimized to deliver individual products at the lowest price, but the lowest price supplier is not always the lowest cost supplier. For example, take these two electrical and lighting MRO suppliers: Supplier A sells a widget for $50 apiece, while Supplier B sells a higher quality widget for $100 apiece.

On a price basis, it looks like Supplier A is the better deal. But, looking at the plant maintenance records, it is immediately apparent that Supplier A costs more because the poor-quality part needs replacing three times as often as the more expensive part.

Since the plant burns through the $50 part so quickly, the plant keeps three of them in stock at all times. Suddenly, the $50 part actually costs $150. Plus, there are labor costs for the maintenance. And on top of that, there are downtime costs if the manufacturing lines have to stop during the repairs.

That $50 bargain part isn’t much of a bargain anymore.

The key to really lowering costs is to look at MRO actions through the lens of TCO. With a TCO perspective, sometimes the more expensive parts are actually huge bargains.

National electrical and lighting MRO partners like IM Supply have deep experience in the industries it serves and it can offer a wealth of advice on how to keep plants running safely, more efficiently and in full compliance with applicable regulations.