Industrial Control Panels: Supply Chain


 Interstates has over 40 years of combined experience building quality, reliable industrial control panels. This article series underscores the importance of planning ahead and partnering with an experienced panel shop to navigate today’s volatile market. Click here to read the first article in this series and learn how our panel shops positively impact speed to market 

 Our previous article discussed how certified industrial panel shops and turn-key solutions can aid speed to market and get projects finished faster without sacrificing quality. Choosing custom, reliable panels is something you can control. The supply chain is not. The whole world has been rocked by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, including industrial supply chains. Many of the products used in control panels that were standard stock with 1-2-week lead times now have waits anywhere from two weeks to a year or even more. So, what have we done to combat this volatile market? 

Be Proactive During the Supply Chain Crisis

You’ll want to partner with a panel shop that is being proactive. Our teams have worked diligently to build up raw material inventory in our shops. Decades of close working relationships with vendors have given us a unique advantage – we are mutually approaching supply chain issues to keep each other in the game. A good example is how we’ve expanded our Vendor Managed Inventory program, allowing us to work with our primary vendors to stay ahead of standard consumables used in our panel building process. We’re also working with vendors to build their inventories to help us stay ahead of lead times.  

Our supply chain team works with vendors to analyze product usage and build up inventories. This is good news for you because our experience and buying power will help keep your project on schedule. We’re also using our knowledge to advise clients on building their plant’s potential spare parts inventory so they can avoid long lead times for replacements. Industrial control panels may seem like a small part of your project, but anything that sets you behind affects the whole project schedule. We are doing everything we can to get you the panels you need, on time or even ahead of schedule. 

What Can You Do to Navigate Supply Chain Issues?

We are handling supply chain issues to the best of our ability, but there are ways you can help, too.  

  1. Anticipate supply chain issues and be proactive in talking with your partners or contractors to understand what possible lead times could do to your project’s schedule.  
  1. Discuss with your partners early on to plan for material needs so they can help your project be successful. At Interstates, as soon as we understand your project goals and potential scope, we are sourcing materials to get ahead of supply issues and offering alternate solutions that may reduce your expected lead times.  
  1. Consider what critical parts you’ll need for your industrial panels and think about obtaining spare parts to cover maintenance, failures, etc., and minimize downtime.  
  1. Be patient and expect issues with lead times and pricing fluctuations. Even when a vendor quotes expected lead times, understand it could still, and probably will, fluctuate. 

Turn-key Solutions Offer Stability and Savings

Planning is the name of the game. To ensure you stay on schedule, it’s critical to investigate supply chain challenges ahead of time and work with suppliers to contain price inflation as much as possible. You should also choose a company that can cover more than just your panel needs to bring scheduling and pricing stability to your project. With solutions ranging from panel fabrication to installation and commissioning, we have the in-house resources to keep your project on track and the supply chain connections to ensure you have what you need when you need it. Leave it to our estimating team, which begins this process the same day we hear about the project. 

If we can’t source the part you need, our deep breadth of product experience allows us to suggest alternate parts if necessary, and our internal engineering team can alter designs to accommodate these changes. Working with an integrated team means work flows smoothly, everyone is on the same page, and delays are minimized.  

The supply chain crisis can be overwhelming if you don’t have a support system in place. With Interstates, you’ll have years of vendor relationships, a vast spare parts inventory, and decades of expertise at the ready. We’re here to help you navigate the current supply chain crisis so you can focus on speed to market and other priorities.  

To learn more about how our industrial control panels can benefit your projects and get them finished faster, contact Jesse Richardson at jesse.richardson@interstates.com or 402-948-9077.  

 


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