PayneCrest Electric: Optimizing Field Labor and Improving Safety with Anixter Trakr™



PayneCrest Electric


Keeping track of wire and cable reels and improving job safety on a large project site


  • Anixter Trakr™
  • Inventory management
  • Asset tracking


  • Improved safety
  • Optimized field labor
  • Increased efficiencies
  • Reduced excess inventory

Keeping Track of the Reels

When a Midwest state approved a budget in 2015 for a coal-fired power plant to upgrade its pollution emissions controls, PayneCrest Electric won the electric build-out portion of the multiphase, multiyear project. PayneCrest found that working on an existing facility with other contractors and subcontractors presented considerable challenges. Perhaps the most significant on this particular job site was finding laydown space and maintaining accurate physical location status of supplies.

Wasted Labor, Scrapped Material, Risk of Injury

PayneCrest had four to five different designated storage locations, all located a long distance from the work site. The site structure itself also had multiple levels they needed to access. Chris Garofalo, project executive at PayneCrest, knew this could cause problems. “When we move wire reels around the project site, the reels don’t always make it back to their designated storage location, making them difficult to locate when we need them for the next cable pull,” he explained. Chris experienced this during a recent year-long project on a 60-plus-acre facility. PayneCrest contractors spent hours each day locating wire reels that had not been returned to their original locations after cutting. Contractors frequently pulled the wrong materials or cut an incorrect amount of wire, creating profit leaks through scrap and waste. This also delayed the entire job because the scrapped wire was supposed to have been used for other portions of the job. These inefficiencies significantly impacted PayneCrest’s bottom line. Additionally, the side-by-side placement of the reels at the job site created a safety hazard, as contractors had to climb over the reels or roll them back and forth in order to see the labels identifying the cable. PayneCrest could not afford this kind of risk to their workers.

The Anixter Solution

To reduce the labor costs, material waste and injury risk associated with locating wire reels at the power plant, PayneCrest contacted Anixter for a solution. Anixter’s patent-pending tracking and inventory management tool, Anixter Trakr, had been successfully implemented with other customers, providing them with real-time visibility to intelligently and efficiently manage their cable reel yards. Using the GPS technology on smartphones, Anixter Trakr puts users within 15 feet of their desired reel. When used in conjunction with a Bluetooth device, the system can hone in on the exact reel needed. Through consistent collaboration during the setup process, user-friendly technology and on-the-job feedback, Anixter enabled a swift and smooth rollout of this solution to the PayneCrest team.

Project Results

Anixter Trakr did more than just help PayneCrest locate their inventory—it helped them manage it. PayneCrest was able to get their products to the job site faster and more efficiently, and that meant more work completed on time and under budget. With Anixter Trakr, PayneCrest realized significant cost savings on labor hours, as workers were able to easily locate wire reels and avoid cutting into the wrong cable. PayneCrest also noticeably mitigated injury risks since workers no longer had to move the wire reels in order to view the labels. PayneCrest is committed to using Anixter Trakr. “This system is something that we want to continue to use on our projects,” said Chris. “We look at Anixter as a trusted partner that can provide us with solutions as issues come up. We’re looking forward to developing this technology to further our competitive edge and add value to our customers.”