Procrastination vs Preparation: DJ Williams Adds Up the Benefits

Dec 19, 2017

The Contractor Solutions Team has an internal support system of Project Construction Team (PCT) Managers to assist with operations and logistics to achieve flawless execution. DJ Williams is one of the best and wrote in about how his preparation helped get the installations done while avoiding additional costs for the contractor.

This past May, I was contacted by a Southwire outside sales rep, Kevin Little, who wanted my help managing one of his projects in Pensacola, Florida. The job was the Navy Federal Credit Union’s new $400 million call center and they needed particular assistance with the phase 2 of construction. The installing contractor out of Pensacola won the bid and they purchased the wire and cable they needed through a local distributor. The NFCU project was deemed the largest commercial enterprise in NW Florida at that time. Due to the magnitude of this project, it was especially vital to have a uniform plan by all parties involved. Many challenges could have occurred considering the size and scope of the project, but my job was to prevent them from happening through thorough preparation.

In addition to the information provided by Little, I strengthened my preparation by reaching out for more info from Jason Clark, a Southwire Solutions Professional. By combining Little's relationship with his customer at the wire and cable distributor and Clark's relationship with the installing contractor's project manager, we were all able to meet face-to-face in Pensacola. We discussed expectations for everyone involved, such as special delivery instructions, job limitations, and other logistics topics. A plan of execution was then developed and agreed upon by all parties.

Following the meeting with the installing contractor, separate meetings and other conversations were held between myself, Little, the wire and cable distributor's project manager, and the manager of the delivering carrier. We were then able to work out a plan with the delivering carrier in regards to the installing contractor's delivery specifications with the agreement of our West GA Customer Service Center shipping coordinators.

By July, we received our first request from the installing contractor's project manager. The request consisted of 3 separate deliveries spaced out over 4 business days. All pulls were flawlessly executed and we have since executed an additional 5 deliveries with no issues. 

Because of all the preparation made through understanding the needs and capabilities of the contractors, I coordinated with internal and external teams to ensure a streamlined execution of the pulls. The timeline of events can be summarized as:

  • Job information was sent to the PCT Manager by Southwire outside sales rep and the Solutions Professional.
  • A meeting at the contractor’s office was arranged and involved a Southwire PCT Manager (DJ Williams), Southwire sales rep (Kevin Little), Southwire Solutions Professional (Jason Clark), the wire and cable distributor contact, and the installing contractor contact.

    • We discussed all party’s expectations on service, logistics, execution, etc.

    • The expectations for the entire project Bill of Materials (BOM) were identified in regards to when it was needed by Southwire and what it involved (product type, size, color and length).
    • A timeframe for installations for each product was narrowed down to give product management dates to work on.
    • A method was determined for contractor order submittals and distributor PO requests.
    • All special delivery instructions, job limitations, and other logistics were discussed.

  • A follow up meeting with the local LTL carrier terminal manager was conducted and delivery instructions and expectations were agreed upon with the outside carrier.
  • Delivery expectations were identified and a delivery plan was agreed upon by all parties (Southwire, distributor, contractor, and carrier).

Because of the steps we went through to make sure that all the details were covered, the following five perks happened:

  1. The BOM was prepared no less than 6 weeks before the next wire pull. The BOM was product specific including wire type, size, color, and exact or close estimated lengths.
  2. The timeframe for installations for each product was narrowed down to specific weeks.
  3. The installing contractor agreed to create pull requests by sending Order Key pdf’s from the Southwire SIMpull Solutions® Configurator app. Configurations were attached to the wire and cable distributor's PO and then directly uploaded into Southwire's SAP sales system.
  4. A 5 business day delivery plan established. Delivery was requested no earlier than 5 business days from order request transaction between the installing contractor and the wire and cable distributor. The PCT Manager was notified during initial order request transaction between the contractor and the distributor for confirmation of timestamp.
  5. Southwire agreed to ship for delivery through the delivering carrier in Pensacola a day earlier than the requested delivery day. The delivering carrier agreed to have material to NFCU site at 7 AM for no extra charge.

All of the preparation added up to real benefits for the contractor:

  1. No inventory shortages due to specific product info provided by the customer 6 weeks in advance. By having all stock as planned, labor inefficiencies within the plants and warehouses were avoided.
  2. No delivery delays due advance notice of when the product was to be ordered. This also avoided expedite costs and provided exceptional customer service.
  3. No rush or added pressure due to the amount of delivery notice given to Southwire from the contractor. This also avoided expedite costs, decreased risk of damage to the product during our shipping process, and decreased risk of injury.
  4. Saved labor hours and minimized possibility of clerical errors due to the contractor using the SIMpull Solutions® Configurator app and the amount of advance notice given for delivery.
  5. Saved freight costs due to the agreement and plan established between all parties and the carrier.

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