Why Local Service Matters: How Food, Beverage Companies Choose MRO Partners

Working with perishable food products means food processing plants must follow strict legal requirements. Any food processing downtime could lead to food waste or possible contamination. To minimize processing delays, it’s crucial that plants partner with a local electrical and lighting MRO solution provider to keep systems fully functional and plant operations at peak capacity.

When you partner with IM Supply, you have a one national MRO contract with fulfillment through 780 local distributor locations. That means needed parts will be delivered right away, not have to be ordered from a central location that might be hundreds of miles away or more.

At any given time, IM Supply’s distributors handle nearly $1 billion worth of electrical and lighting product inventory around the United States. Here’s why Fortune 500 companies rely on IM Supply as a single point of contact for electrical and lighting MRO solutions.

Distributors Located near Food Processing Plants

If something breaks, it can take days to get a required part under a hub and spoke distribution system that delivers items from a hub location on demand. This model is efficient for the MRO provider, but results in delays for customers as they have to wait a day or more for needed parts. Partnering with IM Supply means you have access to distributor locations nationwide, all of whom stock current inventory and specialize in rapid delivery. “Preventive maintenance is great, but it doesn’t cover everything,” said Keith Jack, vice president of IM Supply. “Sometimes things break and you need the parts that day. Tomorrow is no good.”

Plants Increasingly Rely on Outside Vendors

As plants work to increase operational performance, they rely more and more on vendors for engineering and technical support. Having local distributors available makes it easier to contact a vendor and have someone onsite the same day to help. “If plants have an issue or need a part, they can call the distribution branch and the branch can run it over that day,” Jack said. “There’s a comfort level that the distributor partner will have it and can deliver it right away.”

Local Distributors Minimize Downtime

Waiting for parts to replace electrical or lighting components means plants may have to temporarily shut down production lines. “Many times, a [hub and spoke distributor]  may have inventory in a central warehouse several hundred miles away,” Jack said. “Whereas at a local branch, I can send someone over in 20 minutes. Plus, plants can’t afford the lost productivity time. In some cases, downtime can cost a big plant tens of thousands of dollars per hour not to mention a significant loss in revenue for product not manufactured.”

Fewer Rush Orders

When parts are not immediately available, plants accumulate inventory on the shelves to account for the additional future production. Once parts are delivered and production resumes, employees will need to process rush orders in order to meet customer demand. But because customer order timelines can’t be changed, there will often be higher freight costs for expedited shipping and even employee overtime.

The right MRO supplier can keep the processing lines running on time, which is why food and beverage companies choose IM Supply.


Learn how IM Supply provides exceptional local MRO service on a national scale. Talk to an IM Supply specialist or download the whitepaper.