Reducing and managing non-productive labor
- By Brad Stevens
- Jan 01, 2017
In our last contributed article, Anixter examined
the topic of “Sourcing to Become
a Leaner Organization.” Here we take a
look at another important component of
increasing profitability—Reducing and Managing
There are several components that contribute
to the time and money that is spent on labor.
Here we highlight some points to consider
and some practical ways you can reap significant
cost savings by better managing your nonproductive
labor. As a supply-chain solutions
provider, Anixter is committed to helping you
do exactly that.
Adjusting estimated labor specific to a project
is usually best done by looking at the sub-totals
or totals of man-hours spent on each individual
portion of the project. Many integrators choose
to do this either on an estimate summary sheet
or via an appropriate software program. To determine
the amount of labor time needed, it’s
useful to list all the materials that will be required.
Remember to figure in time spent providing
adequate security for storage of materials
and tools. Labor costs can increase or decrease
based on atypical conditions, so keep that in
mind when estimating labor installation and
Other factors that impact the amount of labor
and associated costs include how much supervision
is required, the additional labor for handling
material or controlling tools, time spent moving
to and from assigned work areas, coordinating
with other trades on the site, and the coordination
of material deliver and storage.
CUT LABOR TIME AND
INCREASE CASH FLOW
It’s important to plan in advance, taking into
consideration the complexity of the project as
well as the complexity of the communications
and security systems involved. Programming
IP cameras on-site will add time and resources
to a project. Allowing your distribution partner
to pre-program the cameras to your customer’s
specifications and ship them to you, ready-to-go,
is a true time saver. Pre-configuring the cameras
helps ensure a trouble-free installation and is a
proven labor and cost saving solution.
SAVE FIELD TECHS TIME
You can delay your cost of ownership and improve
cash flow by having your distribution partner
remove original manufacturer packaging
from your shipment ahead of time. Products can
then be consolidated, kitted and repackaged before they get to you on-site. All can be pulled, processed, packaged, labeled
and shipped complete to your specifications.
Any packing materials you don’t need or want can be sent directly to the
recycling center, rather than to you on your job site. Fewer packaging materials
sent by your distributor means less clean up time for you. Another key
cost saving option is having your distribution partner drop-ship directly to
your loading docks and/or staggering the timing of the shipments based
on work schedules. This minimizes time spent coordinating and storing
MINIMIZE OVERHEAD COSTS
More complex and elaborate projects translate into additional overhead
costs. A trusted distribution partner can help reduce those costs by providing
inventory management services. Managing lead times and returns, as
well as taking care of replacement, obsolete, excess and scrap inventory, can
be a strain on time and budget.
With an inventory management partner, you can improve working capital
and speed to market, reduce product shortages, streamline warehouse
investment, and decrease write-offs by reducing scrap and overruns.
Unforeseen, last-minute product needs can mean taking resources off a
jobsite, which increases labor costs. Working with a distribution partner
that can deliver the products you need, when and where you need them,
can mitigate that significantly.
TAKE YOUR SYSTEM FOR A TEST DRIVE
As the only distributor with its own UL-certified lab, Anixter tests products
independently of the manufacturers’ performance specifications.
We can collaborate with integrators on large projects to replicate an
end-user’s system in our lab. This enables our integrator partners to offer
proof-of-concept testing to their end-user customers, allowing them to
demonstrate exactly how the products will perform on the job site. Such
capabilities give our integrator partners a true competitive edge without
the capital investment.
Anixter’s lab services include testing IP products, industrial communications
and control equipment, video management software, as well as
helping you determine whether you need Cat 5e or Cat 6A, based on your
transmission length. That can result in a huge savings on your overall
LABOR-SAVING PRACTICES HAS REWARDS
• Increase efficiency of labor
• Mitigate financial risks
• Reduce costs
• Improve margin and profitability
By leveraging the right customizable supply chain solutions, you can
eliminate costs, address sustainability requirements, enhance focus on your
core competencies, all while staying competitive in the marketplace.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of Security Today.