Integrator Improves Profitability and Service With Anixter's RapidFire Material Management Solution

Summary

Customer

Technology services provider

Challenge

Increasing costs and project delays due to missing material and having to expedite shipping

Solution

Anixter’s RapidFire inventory tracking program

Results

  • Shipping cost savings of $300,000 in the first year at one facility alone
  • Improved end customer service level
  • Optimized inventory while minimizing working capital
  • Material managment efficiency 

World-Class Service Requires Optimized Inventory

When a technology services provider that prides itself on providing world-class service receives urgent requests from customers, they do their best to deliver on the desired timeline. For the services provider, this often meant using inventory that was allocated to less-urgent projects or paying pricey overnight shipping fees. Not only did these practices result in unnecessary expense, but they also caused delays on other projects as the provider routinely ran out of on-hand inventory for products with long lead times.

Anixter Technology Solution

An efficient material management process was lacking and the customer knew they needed to gain control of their inventory to reduce their shipping costs and keep all projects on time. That’s when Anixter offered up help through the RapidFire program. RapidFire is a web-based inventory management program that provides real-time inventory status, adjusts inventory when material is received, shipped or moved, allows email communication with suppliers as well as job tracking, purchase order entry, asset tracking, customized reporting and more.

The customer had two facilities where a lack of efficient inventory management was driving up their operating costs. With RapidFire, the customer would gain access to inventory that is owned by Anixter but resides in their warehouse. When material is needed, they scan it out using RapidFire and are automatically billed by Anixter for the material used. There are also minimum and maximum levels in place for each product. Anixter supplies the maximum, and when material reaches the minimum, RapidFire notifies Anixter to replenish.

The customer also uses RapidFire to track hundreds of customer-owned SKUs, as well as to keep track of their own items. This allows them to produce detailed reports for the sales, design and engineering teams.

In addition to RapidFire, Anixter has a stock agreement in place with the customer, in which we’re committed to having a specified amount of material in inventory set aside for the them. This eliminates lead time and helps the customer meet timelines. Anixter has also negotiated with suppliers for set pricing for the customer to improve their purchasing power and profit margin. This also helps the customer increase productivity as they are not actively managing as many orders. 

Results

In just the first year using RapidFire, the customer saved $300,000 in shipping costs in one facility alone. They needed things right away and many times suppliers or Anixter didn’t have it on the shelf and we would need to overnight, so shipping costs used to add up. Since RapidFire can be accessed from any web-enabled device, users can access data anytime, anywhere, giving them better visibility of the movement of materials.

Click here to learn more about Anixter’s material management solutions.