Five areas you can tackle in construction
November 30, 2021
By John Cherry | VP of Construction Sales
By John Cherry | VP of Construction Sales
From workforce turnover to forecasting concerns, every new season in construction offers plenty of hurdles. Right now, the biggest challenge feels pretty obvious, though. It's the supply chain.
Companies are struggling to maintain a consistent flow of supplies. So, that's where everybody should be focused. On supply chain solutions.
Here’s the question people need to be asking themselves: “In our supply chain, can we find a partner who can consistently keep supplies coming to our jobsites?”
Then consider these five areas.
What is a FASTPOD?
Think of a sea container or conex on a jobsite. Now, pump technology into it. Inventory management, data collection, and even climate control are what turn a regular container into a way to get Products On Demand. That’s what makes it a FASTPOD.
Over the past few years, we reinvented the FASTPOD. We invested in the program and made it more robust in the sense that now we're able to get our vending technology inside.
This is an excellent method of supplying products, because it allows workers to have 24/7 access to what they need via vending, lockers, and bins. It also offers you the ability to control employee access and collect data on what’s being used.
Of course, vending technology is not new. It's been around for a while, and it's something that Fastenal is a market leader in. We believe that by being able to get that technology inside our POD and onto a jobsite, it offers more inventory oversight while lowering your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Resiliency via relationship
More and more, people are looking to bolster their supply chains with resiliency. One way you can do this (that often gets overlooked) is through strengthening the relationship you have with supply chain partners.
No one knows your needs better than you do, but anyone you trust to run part of your supply chain should be able to help predict changes in inventory availability and usage fluctuations. To dig into this idea, ask yourself these questions.
That last point can’t be overstated. It simply cannot be a one-sided approach. Those will not last very long. In the end, resiliency can come from a strong relationship between you and your supplier because you each know what the other is capable of handling.
This one sounds simple because it is. Jobsite solutions should make work on a jobsite smoother, quicker, and better in general.
Both PODs and vending machines offer ways to control and maintain inventory supply levels at the point of use, but the POD has to be the top example. It houses inventory in a safe, controlled environment right where your team is working.
Vending machines not only hold inventory, but they can track usage and control consumption in categories like gloves, glasses, and abrasives.
Since jobsites create unique challenges, we have many customizable solutions.
Whether it's a two-door job box, an outdoor locker, or vending technology in a job trailer, all jobsite solutions should focus on getting inventory closer to the point of use.
Creating an inventory advantage
Whether it’s due to the pandemic, logistics, or other disruptions, everyone is looking to strengthen their supply chains. As it relates to inventory, Fastenal believes PODs offer this strength.
Planning and being in front of inventory needs, in general, gives everyone a competitive advantage. But with PODs, you put inventory on your site and make it accessible. Best of all, the inventory management can be handled by Fastenal employees, freeing up your team to focus on work.
Plus, this system makes inventory levels visible to both parties. From Fastenal’s side, we can monitor the levels more accurately and ensure we do everything we can well in advance to get needed products out to your site before they have a chance to become an issue.
That’s what makes the POD program unique. It’s not the container; it’s what the container allows us to do.
How data ties in
There's a big demand for data right now. People need clean, accurate data that they can act on. They are looking for this because they are hungry for the kind of data that drives decisions.
When these types of questions can be answered with data, then you can make meaningful change. If you don’t know how to get trustworthy data, make it part of a supplier relationship.
Supply chain partners, especially strategic ones, know their customers need access to good, clean data. At Fastenal, we have a few ways to gather and provide actionable data.
Vending and bin stock technology are both capable of collecting usage data. Each time an item is vended, there’s a record. RFID and infrared bins can monitor usage and send data to the cloud.
For large partnerships, Fastenal has FAST360º, which allows you to access all the various types of data on a dashboard. This means a very large chunk of the data that you want to see regarding your organization can become reviewable from any computer you log into.
Knowing all of the challenges you’ll face this season is tough. But having a supply chain partner who can minimize risk and manage jobsite inventory is a good way to strengthen your position. You want to be able to roll with whatever the year throws at you. Fastenal can help you be ready.
Email ConstructionSalesManagers@Fastenal.com to start a conversation that can improve your year.
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