Episode 58 | Easing Supply Chain Challenges
Supply chain issues have caused raw and manufactured material shortages and increased prices across the U.S. According to the National Association of Home Builders, at the end of 2021, 90 percent of contractors surveyed suffered a shortage of at least one material.
Fortunately, the industry continues to discover new and innovative solutions — and City Electric Supply (CES) is doing its part to help. The company added two fulfillment centers in 2018 and three more in 2022 for a total of five strategically placed locations across the country. Together, these centers distribute products so CES customers can continue providing their services too.
“We started with Jacksonville, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina. And we’ve added Fort Worth, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as Indianapolis, Indiana,” said Rich Antonaros, Director of CES Online North America.
And CES is just getting started.
“Our goal is customer loyalty, to be their number one electrical supplier of choice,” said Antonaros. “The best service is about the best fill rate in the shortest time, with the highest level of accuracy.”
CES Fulfillment Centers Help Meet the Nation’s Demand
CES branches are the backbone of the business. The sprawling network of over 550 branches meets the demand of local consumers in 30 states and counting.
So how do all these branches not miss a beat? In addition to unmatched customer service, they have the support of the fulfillment centers’ massive inventory space. Each location is 100,000 square feet or more and is packed stories high.
“These facilities are anywhere between 100,000 to 160,000 square feet,” he added.
Each fulfillment center holds backstock and unique material that nearby branches may not be able to store conveniently. CES locations can free up space to fill daily orders quicker and easier.
Branches save time with other orders, too. Any location can find a product available within the fulfillment network and place an order. Centers are well-organized to deliver faster than ever.
“We’ve developed this network and regionalized it,” said Antonaros. “We’re positioned to service the customers within 24 hours no matter where they are in the country. Our company philosophy is ‘same day is better than next day,’ and we’re putting ourselves in a position to meet that goal.”
CES Supports the Growth of the Electrical Industry
Fulfillment centers support more than just branches. Centers also fill orders for CES online, wire service, and custom commercial project electrical equipment through CES One Line service.
“We provide services to our National Solutions division,” he explained. “We are the support arms that relate to the operational piece for their businesses.”
For in-house brands, which are housed by TAMCO Group, the fulfillment centers provide stock services.
“TAMCO takes an order for a branch like they normally do, they push it to our system, and we pick, pack, and ship it to the branch,” he said.
According to Antonaros, building a fulfillment center takes 14 to 18 months from the initial concept to fully operational. He believes that the significant investment by CES toward the fulfillment centers demonstrates the company’s commitment to exceeding customers’ expectations.
“We know that we are doing something meaningful — we’re adding value,” said Antonaros. “To me, that’s what it’s about; to create customer loyalty through superior customer service.”
With a sixth fulfillment center on the way in Toronto, Canada, CES looks forward to providing unbeatable service to even more customers!