To better help electrical distributors respond to the needs of electrical contractors, the Electrical Distributor, in a monthly Q&A, asks contractors to respond to questions concerning their relationships with distributors and the services provided to them on a regular basis.
Here, Eric Centers, president of Centers Electric in Meridian, Idaho; and Matt Giacomini, President of Senergy Electric in Williamsville, Ill., answer the question: “What steps do you take to protect yourself and your business from theft and fraud?”
Centers: “Back in 2008/2009 we had some wire stolen from us on a job site, but due to the measures we took immediately afterward, we have not had a problem since.
“We now use a combination of lockable containers or a lockable room within the work site that can’t be accessed by somebody roaming through the site. Upper management and the superintendents are the only ones who have keys. If we do not have access to a room, our distributor will provide us with a box or a container depending upon the size and length of the job. Also, there are times when our materials are stored off-site or shipped to us as we need them.”
Giacomini: “Being a relatively small and newer company, we’re a tight group. We don’t have many concerns about theft and/or fraud, but we do take steps through our purchasing process to avoid things like that.
“You always run the risks, whether it is tools or materials, to be taken from projects. This is normally curbed by keeping materials off the projects. We use our distributors pretty heavily to do a lot of just-in-time delivery so that our exposure is significantly less, as well as checks and balances of our purchase orders and the tracking of the materials. For larger projects we have our own containers and we see the value in having distributor containers on-site—we do it both ways.”
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