Plastics Information, Plastics Suppliers

That’s not something we stock…

It’s been a busy week, you’ve been working hard all week to get a new target account to give you a chance to quote their next opportunity. Today you finally get the call, they send you prints and its time to really impress them with your knowledge, quick turn around and lead time. You gather all your information and then call your plastic supplier to get a quote on the plastic stock shape, then you hear: “That’s not something we stock, I’ll have to call the mill and get a price and lead time” (screeching tires). Now you have to wait, and wait…and wait. Finally (maybe days later), you get the call back only to hear there is a minimum purchase and a lead time for the item. Now what?

Wikipedia defines distribution as: The process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user, using direct means, or using indirect means with intermediaries. I’m sure you will agree with me, my expectation of “making a product available” is having it in stock, ready to go when needed. That’s the role of a distributor, it’s the service we provide. All too often today, we see distributors acting more like brokers. They don’t stock anything, they drop ship everything and they really don’t bring any value. In our example above, the minimum buy will hurt the job shops chances of getting the business.

Today’s distributors are under enormous pressures for financial performance, needing to achieve ever greater margins and inventory turns. Instead of meeting those demands with superior service, they cut back on the service offered. Job shops don’t know when (if ever) a job will repeat. If the job shop has to invest money and space into stocking materials, it will distract them from the things they do best, machining parts!

The next time your plastics supplier tells you “that’s not something we stock…I’ll have to call you back”, think about giving Plastics International a call. We have a huge inventory available to meet your needs, keeping partial sizes inventoried in our system to give you quick access to them. Plastics International can price you right over the phone, even on cut to size items. And once you place your order, it will ship same day/next day. All of this is offered with no minimum order for stocked items.

So give us a call or check us out online at www.plasticsintl.com.

Plastics Suppliers

Where Do You Buy Your Plastic Stock Shapes?

The art and science of distribution is often discussed in day-to-day business in just about every market, but some may feel that they do not see it in practice often enough in the market place. Today, as markets become more competitive than ever, it has become an everyday occurrence to see the channel partners in the supply chain reposition themselves from being a channel supplier to a “value-added” partner (in other words: a competitor).

This shift is happening in many industries like our plastics stock industry, and the whole idea confuses us. Who are they really adding value to? It’s not to the job shops that buy from them who make a living machining parts to a print. It’s not to the material manufacturer whose products they do not have in stock to service the market beyond their own “value-added” demand.

We often wonder how many metal distributors would survive in today’s market place if they started to make metal parts and sell them in the local market? Who do you really want to choose to do business with, a partner or a competitor?

For years, Plastics International has been warning job shops about Coyote Plastics, a ficticious plastics company that represents all of the “distributors” in the indutry who also compete with you, their own customers in the local market place for machining business.

Coyote Plastics is run by the ruthless Bossman and his loyal employee Eddie. These two are out to sell you a sheet of plastic or two until they can figure out who your customer is and go direct. They will never tell you they are your competitors. The approach may sound something like a “full service” or “value-added” supplier with ideas around those words.

Too many job shops don’t worry about the long-term implications of whom they buy from until it’s too late and their customer is gone. Some shops have decided to take their supply chain strategy in a different direction. Consider this link to an article regarding Yeager Machine, Inc. (Yeager Machine, Inc-Partnering Not Competing With Its Plastic Supplier). Yeager Machine made a strategic decision to choose their partners carefully, with a long-term strategy in mind.

If you think you are buying from a Coyote Plastics in your area or simply would like to be able to order material cut to size, with no minimum, and have it ship the same day, feel free to call us or visit us at www.plasticsintl.com to see if you think we can help your business grow.