RS Components’ customers have a wide variety of needs, from managing costs to fast delivery. Tim Sharpe, Head of Field Sales, talks about customer challenges and solutions to help them be more efficient, productive and profitable.

We are used to working closely with our customers to understand their often-complex needs. In the COVID-19 pandemic it’s been more important than ever. From managing costs to coping with surging demand in some sectors like food and beverage, the depth of our supplier relationships ensures we’re always ready to provide the best solution.

Controlling costs is a constant source of pressure for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) professionals. The pandemic has only made matters worse as social distancing rules have fundamentally changed the way some companies work.

In our Indirect Procurement Report 2020 – The evolution of MRO procurement, produced with the support of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), 59% of UK respondents said reducing operational budgets was their top business pressure.

As cost pressures tighten, we are working with our customers on creative and strategic ways of driving value. Cost pressures mean reduced budgets and more approval levels for purchases. This creates a lot of extra work for our customers. As the value of what they can personally authorise is reduced, they need to seek approval from more levels across their businesses, which takes time.

There is a real appetite for tight cost control and cost-saving measures that are tangible, to help bolster profits when top lines may be being challenged because of things like deferred projects.

This all has a knock-on effect on the supply chain. And with the current economic uncertainty it has become more acute. This means compliance is really important to ensure companies are buying from a validated best-cost supplier. The hidden cost of a single ad hoc purchase can be up to £80, or more, when you take into account the cost of setting up a new supplier, raising a purchase order and dealing with inventory management and payment.

Our customers want the most efficient way to procure, so compliance to nominated first-choice preferred suppliers is a top priority for senior procurement and finance people. The best way to ensure that compliance is happening is to make sure our service is meeting the needs of everyone in the business, so there is no reason for anyone to make an ad hoc purchase.


More efficient, productive and profitable
At RS Components, we boost compliance and productivity by providing solutions that reduce complexity and operational cost in high-volume, low-value products.

Our inventory solution, RS ScanStock™, helps customers manage inventory more effectively, ensuring compliance and driving efficiency. They generate significant improvements in productivity to such a degree that labour hours are freed up to be used elsewhere in the business.

To avoid unplanned outages, there is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution of condition monitoring. By reporting on the status of components in real time, it enables preventative maintenance to be planned around the real-life performance of components.

There is always the risk that when an urgent issue arises, engineers will be tempted to make costly ad hoc local purchases. In situations like this, the RS Local network of branches can provide the speed of supply to keep production moving.

Recently, a contractor supporting offshore facilities for the oil and gas industry made an out-of-hours call to their RS Local team on a Saturday afternoon, after a leading supplier of testing equipment issued an urgent recall of products. It was impossible to carry out checks on the equipment because the electricians were already busy offshore on rigs and boats. Although the contractor found a suitable replacement kit, the standard delivery time meant it would not be available until Monday morning. Members of the RS Local team moved quickly to find a solution for the customer, which resulted in the product arriving at 5am on Sunday morning; the contractor was able to safely and accurately carry out necessary work less than 24 hours after the initial call.

Being a value-added supplier is all about being there for our customers and helping them to manage their supply chains more effectively. Our insights into the issues facing MRO professionals are the key to our success in keeping private companies and public services functioning, whatever challenge comes along.

RS Components have expert advisers on hand to talk through any MRO challenges you may have and can can give you examples of how we’ve helped organisations overcome them. If you would like to speak with one of them, please contact us here