Of course, as the saying goes, we don’t know what we don’t know, which is why a reputable Service Center can prove invaluable in the risk evaluation process. Specifically, an experienced team can help you:
Shed light on your business’s vulnerabilities
When you’re consumed by the internal workings of your business, it can be difficult to take a step back and see the bigger picture. A good Service Center should have experience working with multiple industries and a wide range of companies—and be able to bring a fresh perspective to the table.
Your Service Center should be able to support you in re-examining your internal purchasing processes and draw on their experience to help you identify risk areas that you may have overlooked, such as an over-reliance on a single mill that could lead to inventory shortages or quality inconsistencies.
Identify solutions to common problems
Not only can a good Service Center help you identify vulnerabilities, but they should be able to provide recommendations for more efficient ways of operating.
For example, if you’re having trouble acquiring the metal product you need on a daily basis, a good Service Center may ask if you really need daily delivery. Depending on the product you require—and when—it may be possible to streamline your supply chain, reduce the number of vendors you work with, and receive those must-have products less frequently but in slightly increased quantities. This could allow you to both receive the products you need more reliably and save on your metal costs as well.
In a similar vein, a Service Center may recommend less frequent deliveries to reduce the amount of time spent unloading shipments on the shop floor—or identify opportunities to maximize scrap metal rather than purchasing new sheets. Ultimately, they should always be looking for ways to improve the process, no matter how small.
Determine what purchasing framework best suits your needs
While a Service Center can help you identify internal risk mitigation opportunities, they can also explore why you buy the way you buy and what Service Center features are important to you.
For instance, after digging a little deeper, you may discover that finding the right quality material on a consistent basis is critical. If your Service Center isn’t set up to meet that need, you’ll need to find one that is—perhaps one that has access to a larger network. Ultimately, by better understanding your own needs, it will become easier to identify the features of a Service Center that are most important to you.
Ask the right questions
You can learn a lot about your vulnerabilities by simply asking: why do we buy the way we buy? A reputable Service Center can guide you through the process, view your business through a holistic lens, help you uncover inefficiencies and make recommendations for improvement. They should be able to help you mitigate risk at an organizational level, as opposed to just creating a spot solution. And the best ones should be able to accommodate your needs as they become clearer.
At Samuel, we believe our role goes beyond supplying product—we see ourselves as advisors as well. That’s why we go to great lengths to help you mitigate your metal purchasing risks, reduce costs and maximize efficiencies. To learn more about us, visit https://www.samuel.com/our-businesses/samuel-service-center .