Back in the 80’s, G.I. Joe cartoons used to wrap every episode with a morality lesson for kids that concluded with the line, “Knowing is half the battle”.
In welding and industrial supplies, knowing part numbers is half the battle. If you bring a part number to an order desk, the staff there could probably kiss you! We don’t recommend this though. DO NOT KISS ORDER DESK STAFF… you don’t know where they’ve been! Unless you bring them a part number from one of their competitors, then you’re potentially adding to their already overworked day. A lot of the time it can’t be helped but just know that you’re not really doing them a favour, a manufacturer’s number is far more meaningful to them.
Crossing part numbers isn’t the way most order desk staff want to spend their days. What they usually love, and what the great ones excel at, is helping you, the customer, find solutions. You may not realize this but well over half the time you reach out to an order desk or sales rep, you don’t actually know what you want. I mean, you might generally, but not specifically and your suppliers need the details if they’re going to be valuable as partners in your business.
A good order desk is like your welding coach/therapist/counsellor, and they will work with you to determine what products will best solve your problems. Some of the information they need to draw out of you might be:
What are you trying to do? With what? What do you have already? What kind of environment are you working in? What’s your budget? When do you need it? Do you have a particular spec?
When you already have the answers to these questions AND part numbers, the process is so simple you’d think that you could do it yourself.
Not so fast. You still need the order desk for the other half of the battle, price and availability.
Enter ClearSource to fight this battle for you. If you’re the self-sufficient type who has no problem going online to book your own vacation, order food, and set up your groceries for click-and-collect, you can use ClearSource in the exact same manner; to source, price and order your own filler metals, consumables, parts, equipment, safety supplies, gas and more from your local distributors online. It puts all the information that an order desk needs into one easy to process format so they can get back to you in minutes, sometimes faster!
ClearSource allows you to self-serve as much as possible to speed the process up, save you hours of small talk over the course of a year. Ultimately giving you more time to do with as you choose; work more billable hours, or check-out early to go fishing.
Plus, you get the added satisfaction of knowing your favourite order desk person is getting to do what they’re best at, problem solving!
Give ClearSource a try and let us know what you think.