Distributor Offers Local Job Site Delivery

By: Ari Erenthal, Published on Nov 30, 2016

Local distribution branches are a big differentiator for many integrators, as they facilitate quickly picking up supplies locally without having to wait for delivery from remote locations.

One distributor has taken this a step further, buying their own fleet of vehicles to drive products direct to integrator's job sites. In this post, we examine the offering and look at its potential appeal.

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Poll / ****

Comments (19)

Makes total sense to me. Autoparts stores have been doing this for decades (at least around here) - they've even delivered to my buddy at home. Building supply outlets do it with larger orders as a matter of course.

Graybar Electic can deliver security products to job sites throughout the US with our own fleet of trucks.

Thanks, UD1. We'll call Graybar and update.

I did this managing a security distribution branch in Indianapolis in the 1990s (the old S&B Distributors). We were the only branch in town, so it was very effective in out servicing out of town competitors.

I forget the pricing, but the courier service I hired charged three tiers for one-, two-, or five-hour service.

It drove ADI (in Detroit) nuts!

I wonder if anyone has ever used Postmates to get equipment delivered from a local distributor?

Many years ago, I used to be a house painter. The local representative for Duron Paints would always stop by the job site with our orders of paint and supplies. Anything small and he didn't leave the office. If it was a large order for new home construction, he showed up within an hour. It meant a lot to us to not have to leave the job site to go and get supplies. Also reminds me of a French Cajun word called Lagnaippe which means "that little bit extra after the recipe is done." It's a constant reminder to always be doing something more than your competition. It may be the very reason why a client may stay with you over going with someone else.

There is a cable distributor in our territory that offers a very similar and valuable service. With limited storage space this has been a real benefit for us. This distributor has even offered to same-day deliver orders as small as 20 or so patch cables... I declined because that feels like blatant abuse. This distributor offers custom cut lengths of cabling - I once ordered 50x 150' cuts of Cat5e cabling to be distributed to subcontractors for single camera installs in small retail rollouts.

If there was a security product distributor who did the same I would grant preference to them over our other distributors.

In fact, Brooklyn Supply was telling us that their delivery service is most often used for cable and other bulky items.

A metro distributor looking to add same day or even same hour delivery capability with minimal investment might want to take a look at UberRush from Uber.

Available currently in San Fran, New York and Chicago, with more to come, they utilize the Uber network to deliver.

Rates are around $6 for anything within a mile and ~$2 for every additional mile, for up to 50 lbs.

For bigger distributors, they offer an API to integrate the delivery into their in-house systems.

Interesting! This might make the "pack of B connectors" delivery almost practical.

In Manhattan, they apparently use bikes as well as cars, so who knows a slammer might even get those beanies before he runs out the last few salvaged from the depths of the spare tire wheel well.

While on a recent jobsite, it would have been really nice not to have to drive to two ADI locations to get the two parts I needed that day. I literally wasted half a day driving.

Accu-tech has been doing this for many years. They will get it to you wherever you need it locally from their branches.

This is pretty cool and good for Brooklyn for differentiating. I thought about doing this as well. The only question I have is are enough integrators really going to take advantage of this to make this worth while for BLVS? Here in our hometown, it seems that the integrators here literally pick up their parts right before they go to the job site. There are some that plan ahead but the majority enjoy the convenience of picking up the parts right before they head to the job.

Granted, Tulsa is a much smaller city than NYC metro and getting around here takes 20 minutes at the most on average. I could see how it could be beneficial in large cities where it can take more than an hour just to get across town.

60 deliveries on average a day definitely sounds worthwhile. Makes me want to open up a shop in NYC.

Ari, I'm currious what the average delivery valus is.

I can ask. It seems that the most commonly delivered items are big, bulky items like cable and wiremold, so the average delivery value is probably a couple hundred bucks.

I worked as a home improvement contractor for a number of years and we could order pretty much anything and have it dropped off so I don't see why this is any different.

What's different appears to be the limited options for security products.

Well, the two biggest players in the area doesn't do this. If Home Depot and Lowes didn't have a job site delivery option, it would be news if a small independent chain started offering delivery.

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