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chain supply houses rant

clammy
clammy Member Posts: 2,668
Have not posted to much but i had to rant about the fact that it seems alot of larger supply houses stock miles and miles of o2 barrier heat pex but totally lack the fittings and i do not want  some odd ball fitting i am talking 1/2 copper to 3/8 pex .They tell ya yeah we got it then they send you 1/2 copper x 1/2 pex adp and then 1/2 x 3/8  pex reducers and a 300 ft roll of 1/2 pex  what a joke .This was not my job but a heating contrator  buddy .I usually do not have this promblem mainly because i deal with a smaller non chain p&h supply house who also just carries uponor and has never let me down and tubing n proper fittings and mainifolds .Is it me or do any of you see these issues w  supply house when it comes to pex fitting when it get to 3/8 and 5/16 tubing or is it just us being hosed peace and good luck clammy 
R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
NJ Master HVAC Lic.
Mahwah, NJ
Specializing in steam and hydronic heating

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
    Chain supply houses vs. big box

    Just went to Ferrgusson to find a freeze-proof outdoor hose faucet, and they only had 8 inch length (wanted 12 in).

    Went to Big box and found all sizes including 12 inch.

    The chains are dropping inventory of slow-moving, or low mark-up stock.--NBC
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    You have added validity to their cause

    by calling them SUPPLY HOUSES. LOL.

    Supply houses are pretty much a thing of the past Clammy. They are now known as Order houses or we can get ya that Houses.

    I order more and more online.
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,387
    edited July 2012
    You got that right,Tony!

    The traditional manufacturer-wholesaler-contractor supply chain only makes sense when the middleman adds value,for example,having what's needed when and where it's needed. When the wholesaler has no intention of stocking a product or even worse not stocking parts for products they do sell,what makes them think they should stand in the middle and collect their markup for doing nothing? They seem to take for granted their place on the supply chain as sacrosanct and lousy coffee and poor service should make up for the lack of inventory. I understand that times are tough and maybe they had too much inventory but the flip side is the inventory is the value they bring to the table,not much else!
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,713
    didn't this start in the seventies ?

    When interest rates shot up ? Stuff is often manufactured, at least it was when it was made in North America, on twelve week cycles. So that is how long you may have to wait for a particularly sized pump for example. There used to be a hard **** guy who stocked stuff but charged plenty. Wise guys would buy then try to return the item that they received much later. Wise building owners stock their own critical spares.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited July 2012
    The Other Side

    The entire industry has changed. There was a time when the contractor actually stocked what he needed in his truck or shop. No more, he goes to the supply house each day and expects a 100 percent fill rate on the 200,000 plus sku's of product they sell. Now generally he can get the "A" and "B" items its the "C,D,E" items that tend to be the missing product.



    With a sluggish economy, having to meet mfg requirements to get the best price there is going to be holes in stock. Can't order it if I can't make a freight free or best price order if I did I wouldn't be competative and lets face it, not make money.



    The other aspect is you the contractor paying your bill each month. For every contractor that does there are 10 that don't and that's being generous.



    Lastly, the staff management at the local branch, atleast in our case, can stock what they feel they need but it's them that have to make that happen. There is no magic switch that puts stock in a branch, it still needs to be done based on product knowledge, knowing what your customers need and what new products can hell help them grow their business.



    Clammy, that fitting is a "D" item. In 20 years selling Wirsbo I think I've sold a handful. Be more then halppy to ship you some for stock for the next time you need one.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Supply Houses:

    I've been buying from a supply house for over 35 years, almost exclusively. They are the exception. But in this economy, they are still buying up wholesale houses and they just opened up a big new store in New Hampshire after purchasing two stores from someone a few years back.

    They stock whatever you need, and between their many stores, if it is odd, and it is at another store, they do a warehouse transfer and get it to you. They cost a little more but are competitive, but if I went elsewhere to fill 12 items, and they only have nine, I go the my first choice and they will have all 12 items and alternates. If I have to go somewhere else to fill an order, there was no savings to go to the cheaper store.

    And they stock 1/2" copper Fitting or socket X 3/8 and 5/16" Uponor adapters on the shelves at the store I go to.

    The other day, I needed a  3/4" IPS brass swing check. They didn't have one because they are changing lines in the company. They might have on on Tuesday when the trailer comes. I went around the corner to their cheaper competitiion to see if they had one. They had one in copper. They never have what I need. So, why bother. I picked up one from FW Webb yesterday so I will have it on Monday, AM

    I once saw three clowns with company shirts on in the Grand Poo-Baa of Home Depots, the one in South Boston, next to Rt 93, open 24 hours a day and you must be Bi-Lingual to work there. The three guys were there looking for a Watts #53L Pressure relief Valve. The lead guy was on the cell phone asking what to do because they didn't have one. They probably passed three regular supply houses to get to HD to find they didn't have one, and to save $2.00? Maybe? Three guys at how much an hour?

    It's cheaper to pay the price and support your supply house that is well stocked than to drive around looking for the cheapest price. You will probably loose money anyway.
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,045
    Where to start...

    I certainly understand frustration with distribution, but I also think the contractor has to look ahead and communicate with a dist to get what he needs on the shelves. When business was roaring it wasn't difficult to get items in stock. In the last few years getting new or deeper stock of a line on the shelves is a different matter. Contractors have been in survival mode. So are distributors. Every post on this thread has validity. I think what has to be remembered is this is a supply "chain". You know the weakest link theory. If you want a distributor to stock product locally, buying on line or at HD only weakens the distribution link and the problem is exacerbated and there are more of these threads.



    Good distributors bring new information and training to the trade. You work with a company or branch and you find the guy in there who knows his stuff and he becomes a resource for you, not just a source of product. No one knows it all and frequently the guys churning thru the lines they stock have a great deal of information and understanding. You have to support that knowledge base or it goes away, to the contractors and the industries detriment.



    Just as there are A, B & C items for stock as Chris points out, there are A, B & C contractors and distributors...and I may add, reps;) Ice, I know who you are talking about and I completely get what you are saying. After 35 yrs of business that company will go to the wall for you! To my mind, you have it right. Find the local place that provides the stock, pricing, information, training and can get you the support from a manuf when you need it. There were countless times in my years as a rep that the distributor went to bat for a contractor to get warranty support on something that the dealer did not deserve, but the distributors leverage made happen. You have to earn and deserve that support.



    Find the local people who help you support your family, communicate with them and support them.
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,045
    Where to start...

    I certainly understand frustration with distribution, but I also think the contractor has to look ahead and communicate with a dist to get what he needs on the shelves. When business was roaring it wasn't difficult to get items in stock. In the last few years getting new or deeper stock of a line on the shelves is a different matter. Contractors have been in survival mode. So are distributors. Every post on this thread has validity. I think what has to be remembered is this is a supply "chain". You know the weakest link theory. If you want a distributor to stock product locally, buying on line or at HD only weakens the distribution link and the problem is exacerbated and there are more of these threads.



    Good distributors bring new information and training to the trade. You work with a company or branch and you find the guy in there who knows his stuff and he becomes a resource for you, not just a source of product. No one knows it all and frequently the guys churning thru the lines they stock have a great deal of information and understanding. You have to support that knowledge base or it goes away, to the contractors and the industries detriment.



    Just as there are A, B & C items for stock as Chris points out, there are A, B & C contractors and distributors...and I may add, reps;) Ice, I know who you are talking about and I completely get what you are saying. After 35 yrs of business that company will go to the wall for you! To my mind, you have it right. Find the local place that provides the stock, pricing, information, training and can get you the support from a manuf when you need it. There were countless times in my years as a rep that the distributor went to bat for a contractor to get warranty support on something that the dealer did not deserve, but the distributors leverage made happen. You have to earn and deserve that support.



    Find the local people who help you support your family, communicate with them and support them.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    What happens to those who don't pay...

    I talked with a contractor who was taking out bankruptcy, owing the warehouse around 10K worth of bills. His comment was that the warehouse was "going to simply write it off of their books and get it back in taxes..." Yeah... Right. It ends up being absorbed by those of us 10%ers that either pay cash for their materials, or at least pay within terms.



    As for supply houses, I have a couple who don't seem to carry anything. "I can have it for you by tomorrow afternoon...." Just In Time ordering doesn't work in THIS world, and causes me to not do business with those suppliers. Understood, they can't stock EVERYTHING, but common items MUST be kept in stock.



    I have one warehouse that seemingly has EVERY common item in stock. (Water Systems, Inc and Rampart Supply). They get most of my business.



    Care to comment on what happens to defaulters?



    Been there, done that and assumed personal responsibility for my debt incurred.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,668
    who.s selling who.s buying

    The issue i have is if ya going to stock n  sell the tubing and i order the fittings that i reguire then i would hope you would get the fittings i ordered instead a bunch of extra crap to make up what i ordered in the first place and buy more pex of different dimesions to get the job done.Personally i really don't have these issues because stick to one supply house and usually always have or get the proper fittings i need and don't hose me into a bunch of crap .They also did the heat lose for my buddy and then told him he needed 3200 ft of tubing for a 20 x40 kitchen when question they admitted they where guessing super funny stuff can't make it up ,i did the heat lose come up with 17mbtu and about 1200 ft tubing .I know it must be all me cause the rest of the world is perfect and everybodies plate is full  yeah i got a bridge to sell to and passs that buck oh yeah i thought the ecomony was booming peace good luck stirring the pot clammy 
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Pretty Simple

    800 sqft x 1.5 ( for 8" oc). just goes to show you how far they reached to figure it out. They didn't and that's not serivce that's McDonalds, I'm take a number 3 but don't tell them you don't want the soda cause they can't do the math...
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
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