Many electricians might wonder about the importance of proximity for their suppliers. There are a number of overseas suppliers or national companies to choose from, but they’re not necessarily around the corner – so how much does it matter? Usually, there are a few things to balance when choosing between electrical supply stores and options further away. Here are a few things to consider:
The biggest factor to consider when working out whether to opt for an electrical supply store option or an online option, or supplier that’s further away is what their turnaround and delivery times are like. Typically, being able to visit a supplier in-person because they’re local is going to get you the fastest results the quickest access to the products you need but that’s not always the case. Sometimes smaller local operations, or supplier in your state might have slower dispatch times for the items you need, or they may have lower stock levels which means it can take longer to get the item you want because they don’t have it available, so even though it’s closer you may be waiting longer for items to arrive. Many of the larger online suppliers may have warehouses near you, you probably won’t be able to visit in person but they fit the bill for being an option for electrical supply stores and will likely be able to get you what you need faster than anyone else. Even companies with out-of-state distribution centers can usually guarantee extremely quick delivery times, their warehouses are often highly automated, and meaning orders are dispatched in a minimal amount of time. If there are no options close by and you’re ordering from a supplier that’s further away check their product handling times and average delivery times to your area to get an understanding of what to expect. Some areas may have longer wait times for products than others or less reliable access to courier services and the post, if that’s the case then it certainly becomes a priority to find an option that meets the criteria of electrical supply stores.
Supply chain disruptions
If you settle on a supplier that isn’t local it’s worth it to bear in mind that you may be vulnerable to supply chain disruptions. Whilst it’s not usually an issue, any problems with postal services, courier services, or problems with state borders could leave you unable to access the parts you need. If you’re solely reliant on overseas imports you’ll also be vulnerable depending on what’s going on in the country you’re buying from and local import rules and regulations. When it comes to dealing with any related to electric work it tends to be the case that time is of the essence, so supply chain problems could be a big problem for you and your business.
Local brands and products
One issue with importing from overseas, or working with suppliers that aren’t close by is that their products and brands they supply are less likely to be local or Australian-made. If that matters to you and your business then it’s worth it to search for electrical supply stores.
Another thing to consider is that if you don’t pick an option close by you might not receive the same level of service, nothing beats being able to speak to someone in person or visit a showroom to see their products up close. A conversation with their staff and team could save you a lot of trouble, as they’ll be able to recommend your products more easily.