Beyond COVID: 5 Services Making Electrical Contractors More Profitable
As I watched the roof on our family-owned warehouse collapse, several thoughts ran through my mind.
From the parking lot, I asked one of the firefighters if I could quickly run into our building and retrieve the servers that ran our computer network and critical business systems. He said the remaining piece of the roof was the only thing keeping the structure standing upright. That was a big no.
Fortunately for our team at Paramont EO, we were all safe, and since we had started backing up the system nightly to the cloud a few months prior, it was possible to spin up a cloud-based, remotely accessible version overnight, so we never missed a day of business.
But what I didn’t know at the time was how this catastrophe, which occurred on Memorial Day 2019, would expedite our transformation into a better, smarter company that embraced technology like never before.
I also didn’t realize that it was critical preparation for a looming global pandemic that would sweep the country months later.
In the last two years, Paramont EO has transformed into an electrical distributor that better serves electrical contractors. Leveraging high-tech, we have become more responsive, more flexible and more creative.
Electrical contractors need different things today to be more effective at the jobsite. Paramont EO CEO Ken Gallagher says it best: “We have a new set of rules to play by. We are a very flexible company. We don’t tell electrical contractors how we work. We ask them how they want the work to be done.”
Here’s how the new-norm Paramont EO has changed to address new challenges for electrical contractors:
Electrical Contractor Services: 1. Delivery Transparency
Two years ago, we added a state-of-the-art notification system for our deliveries. Using a geo-fencing technology that assesses the physical location of our company’s trucks and the intended jobsite, electrical contractors are notified when shipments will be delivered. In addition, Paramont’s truck drivers take a photo of each delivery, which is instantly sent back to the electrical contractor, along with order details and a delivery timestamp. On-time delivery with proof takes the guess work and added stress out of the equation for everyone.
“In these uncertain times, it’s hard to find a supply house that you can trust to fulfill your electrical demands,” Tony Masini, project manager at Continental Electrical Construction Company in Oak Brook, Illinois.
“Paramont has done just that! On-time deliveries, competitive price quotes and educated staff make our life as contractors and project managers that much easier.”
Electrical Contractor Services: 2. Fewer Touch Points
We use different products and services that require fewer people handling the merchandise. Throughout the pandemic, this has made it possible for electrical contractors to continue their essential work on jobsites with strict restrictions on the number of workers allowed onsite at any given point in time and reduced their team’s risk of exposure.
The SIMpull Reel, which is one of the most requested at Paramont EO, is an example of a product that we offer that allows for fewer touch points on the jobsite. In fact, it has revolutionized the job site by allowing one person to safely move a reel that weighs up to 6,000 pounds without the need for a pallet jack or heavy equipment. The reel, which fits through most 36-inch doorways, offers independently rotating outer flanges, a rotating inner reel, integral magnetic reel chocks and payoff tension adjustment.
“As a small business we appreciate being able to find vendors that meet our values and needs,” said Andrew Lubker of Current Communications & Electric Corp. in Broadview, Illinois. “Paramont is highly accommodating and has great resources to help make our projects we work on together successful.”
Electrical Contractor Services: 3. Social Distancing Tools
We provide rolling, lockable material carts to make it easy to move supplies around without having to pick up each individual box, thereby reducing the number of electrical contractors who need to manage materials on-site, while adding more security. We also offer Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), a stock-and-replenish service, where we monitor the reserves and proactively refill the cart during the life of the project.
Electrical contractors probably face more pressure than most tradespeople when it comes to boosting productivity, which comes down to saving time. After all, labor hours account for up to 50 percent of the costs, according to Electrical Contractor. Therefore, it is especially critical for electrical contractors to maximize efficiency and save this extremely valuable time.
Improving productivity requires developing practical, repeatable, reliable routines and tools in our environment that help us get the job done with accuracy and efficiency. Most electrical contractors don’t need to spend a fortune to revamp their teams; they need a better partner who is aligned to their desired outcome.That’s why we turned Paramont EO into a full-service supply and logistics problem-solver that helps electrical contractors maximize profit by creating custom solutions to meet their needs for every job.
Electrical Contractor Services: 4. Added Services That Ramp Production
Storing materials on job sites means added risk of damage and loss, reduced productivity resulting from having to move materials around to make room for other trades, and often creates cramped workspaces for electrical contractors. That’s why Paramont EO offers Project Staging and Phasing, an on-demand delivery program where you get what you need when you want it per each phase of the project. This popular service combines our receiving, kitting, custom labeling, and staging services with our just-in-time delivery service. It means we accept the countless number of deliveries from manufacturers on behalf of electrical contractors, break them down, organize the materials and deliver them to electrical contractors in a staggered manner so they can be as efficient and effective as possible.
“[Paramont EO] is always willing to work with us on project-specific solutions,” said Corey Gates, who is a division manager at Kelso-Burnett. “This is another avenue in which they add value to our projects.”
Electrical Contractor Services: 5. More Valuable Updates
The pandemic has twisted the supply chain. Not just in Chicagoland—everywhere.
Electrical contractors rely on us as their supply house to provide the materials that they need to do their job. Over the last two years, the No. 1 question has consistently been about inventory.
For more than 50 years, our family-owned electrical distribution company has built our business to better serve contractors with over 125,000-square-feet of fully stocked and loaded warehouse space boasting one of the largest electrical supply inventories in the state. Communication has always been vital to the success of our business, and during the pandemic, we knew that we needed to provide even more, so we created the Electrical Distribution Supply Chain Update, and put the link at the top our homepage so it can’t be missed.
Knowledge is power, and keeping our clients informed about the availability of products during stressful, uncertain times really helped our customers plan ahead and budget their time and money wisely. The information has been so useful to our clients that we intend to continue to share supply chain updates as well as our views on the many factors contributing to and affecting pricing and availability for electrical supplies in our market for the foreseeable future.
“[Paramont EO] helped me look like a superstar,” said Dan Poczkalski, a project engineer at Kelso-Burnett in Rockford, Illinois. “The team at Paramont EO, have been instrumental in the success of the jobs we have partnered with them in. Their adaptability to complex orders and demanding client deadlines, will be the reason I will continue to use Paramont as much as I can.”