Cable Solutions: 4 Ways Electrical Contractors Grow Margins
Contractors work on slim margins.
An electrical contractor’s average profit margin before taxes is just 6%, according to a Risk Management Associates report.
For a profession that carries ample amounts of risk, single digits don’t seem sufficient.
That’s why Paramont EO, an electrical distributor in Chicago, Illinois, offers an array of services, supplies and logistics solutions to help commercial contractors maximize profits. The team at Paramont EO includes problem-solving, logistics experts with the experience and knowledge to create customized solutions that turn time-consuming, challenging projects into profitable success stories for their clients.
By design, Paramont EO provides more than 50 cost-effective, time-saving services to contractors on a daily basis.
Ken Turek, director of operations at Paramont EO, makes sure that his team is leveraging their creativity to solve problems for contractors, while other distributors merely focus on selling products.
From a bottom-line perspective, the bulk of a contractor’s revenue pays for the cost of labor (42%) and the cost of materials (34%), according to the National Electrical Contractors Association.
To help grow margins, Paramont EO’s services maximize profit dollars for contractors by supplying more efficient products and implementing processes that can shift the amount of onsite labor required altogether. At a time when contractors are facing a nationwide shortage, these benefits are invaluable.
One category of value-added, contractor-profit-maximizing service Paramont offers is their full suite of Wire and Cable solutions. When it comes to preparing wire and cable for a job, here are four ways that Paramont EO helps contractors reduce their project costs:
Electrical Contractor Solutions: 1. Wire & Cable Cutting Slashes Expenses
With surgical precision, Paramont EO’s wire solutions team can customize any cut of wire or cable, ranging from 6-gauge to 1,000 MCM. The in-house team can provide rapid turnaround with same-day delivery. In an emergency, they can even deliver in as little as two hours. Using their Southwire “Beast”, one of the largest and most advanced hydraulic cable machines ever installed at a private distributor facility, Paramont can load up reels with up to 5 different types/colors of wire, each cut to the desired lengths, with pulling eyes and rip chips to save contractors hours of time on site, not to mention reducing the risk of injuries to electricians and damage to cable so common with onsite wire cuts.
The company’s value-added cable solutions have made several high-profile Chicago projects more efficient, including Twitter, Hillshire Brands (Tyson Brands), ITW, Latham & Watkins and Mondelez (Kraft). Over the decades, Paramont EO has played a role in many of the city’s notable sites, such as Millennium Park, Google HQ (Chicago) and the McCormick Place expansion.
Electrical Contractor Solutions: 2. Wire Paralleling – Prep Work That Pays Off
Paramont offers unparalleled wire paralleling services. From traditional, recyclable wooden reels to metal chambered reels to SIMpull Reels, we can coil, parallel, or layer your wire runs to meet your specific project requirements. Custom cut and paralleled wire saves time during installation, which is extremely important due to the large amount of cable and tight scheduling involved in most commercial projects. Furthermore, as jobsites typically don’t offer the contractor enough space to safely and efficiently cut and parallel cable onsite, the convenience of being able to order the exact amount and configuration needed, in a form factor that makes the most sense for a given work environment, makes Paramont’s cable solutions all the more valuable.
Paramont EO maintains an inventory of four and five chamber steel parallel compartment reels, useful in preventing overlapping conductors during spooling that can eventually cause problems pulling the cable into the conduit. These reels feature a 2″ diameter solid steel shaft, cam roller bearings that allow for easy reel payout, shaft safety locks with locking pin and a maximum reel weight of 5,000 lbs, and can be delivered with or without wheels, and moved into place using a Paramont-provided pallet jack, as a cost-effective way to increase efficiency for any installation.
The SIMpull Reel, which is one of the most requested at Paramont EO, revolutionizes 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 36-inch doorways, offers independently rotating outer flanges, a rotating inner reel, integral magnetic reel chocks and payoff tension adjustment.
Electrical Contractor Solutions: 3. Pulling Heads Saves Time
Pre-installed pulling heads (also called pulling eyes or leads), save contractors a significant amount of time pulling cable through conduit. Paramont offers several types of pulling heads, including Southwire’s Maxis Grips, rated at 4,000 pounds, which feature a dual-lock pulling system that uses a cam lock head and a double-braided wire to avoid losing a conductor mid-pull. Once the pull is completed, the heads disconnect easily without the need to cut any wire.
In addition to pulling heads, Paramont EO also sells Maxis XD10 Extreme Duty Cable Puller, which is the fastest 10,000-pound cable puller. It’s perfect for contractors who are tired of pulling by hand and losing time. The machine’s extended mid-frame and retracted positions allow the cable to easily move through 90-degree bends. It’s improved rope guide reduces binding, and it only requires five pounds of force for smooth operations.
Electrical Contractor Solutions: 4. Customized Consulting Boosts Efficiency
As a family-owned and operated company, Paramont EO believes business is another word for long-term relationships.
For example, Turek offers to meet with contractors on the jobsite at the beginning of every job. In fact, he will even accompany the delivery driver with the first shipment to discuss with the contractor how the rest of the project will develop from a supply-chain perspective.
“I like to sit down and map the job out,” Turek said. “We can often guide them toward more efficient solutions they didn’t know existed.”
Paramont EO’s customers notice and appreciate the extra value that the company provides.
About 40 percent of the labor on a job goes to material handling in some form: receiving, unpacking, assembling, waiting, ordering, returning, fetching, locating, according to research. That amount spent on every job represents almost 17 percent of the revenues that can be converted from cost of labor to bottom-line profits.
“I have been on the project management side of the electrical industry for the past 18 years and have found Paramont EO to be one of the most competent full-service distribution houses in the Chicagoland area,” said Duane Chenier, a senior project manager at Maron Electric. “I have only a select group of people I hold near and dear to me as “go to” distributors. Paramont sits at the top of that list with a select few.”
Jayson Lange of Aldridge Electric praises Paramont EO for its ability to communicate, in addition to its cable solutions.
“This type of communication from the vendor and delivering the way they are is awesome,” Lange said. “We need to document and communicate this process for all future jobs. As fast as the wire is coming, it’s getting pulled, eliminating theft and storage issues.”