One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a sales rep is, “What is the lead time for ductile iron pipe?” For example, “I need two pieces of 12-inch TR Flex® Class 52 Protecto 401™ lined zinc coated pipe. Do you have it in stock? If not, what’s your lead time?” Sound familiar?
Whether it be a search for offbeat items that another manufacturer or supplier has dropped the ball on, or a contractor starting a new job, lead time promises and delivery dates are more critical now than ever.
McWane Ductile Production Facilities Vary
Did you know...not all McWane Ductile foundries produce the same product list?
Demand for certain items dictate that they may only need to be produced at one or two sites.
Scheduling for Demand
Scheduling production based on historic data, yet adapting to an everchanging demand, is a challenge for the person responsible. McWane Ductile subscribes to the ABC inventory philosophy, that is, 5 percent of your items account for 80 percent of your sales. These top 5 percent are considered “A” items. “B” items make up the next 15 percent of your sales and “C” items the final 5 percent of your sales.
“A” item Classes are generally 350 and 52, however the location of the foundry may dictate different classes. No item over 16 inches is considered an “A” item. This is a list of McWane Ductile-New Jersey’s “A” items.
008"" TY x PE CL 52 DCL SC/CL
008"" TY x PE CL 350 DCL SC/CL
012"" TY x PE CL 52 DCL SC/CL
012"" TY x PE CL 50 DCL SC/CL
006"" TY x PE CL 52 DCL SC/CL
010"" TY x PE CL 52 DCL SC/CL
016"" TY x PE CL 52 DCL SC/CL
012"" TY x PE CL 350 DCL SC/CL
004"" TY x PE CL 52 DCL SC/CL
004"" TY x PE CL 51 DCL SC/CL
012"" TY x PE CL 56 DCL SC/CL
008"" TY x PE CL 50 DCL SC/CL
008"" TY x PE CL 56 DCL SC/CL
008"" TY x PE CL 54 DCL SC/CL
As you can see the list is very basic. We try our best to keep a limited stock of “B” items such as small diameter MJ and TR Flex, however with all the above factored in, no one is making “B” and “C” items just to have them available in case somebody needs them. The days of producing a 14-inch MJ pipe just to have on-hand no longer exist.
Communication is Key
What do we need from you? Communication. Accurate communication of information from the customer to the salesperson and the production scheduler is key to ensuring your delivery requirements are met.
Routine conference calls are scheduled to review the status of large diameter, special lining, and restrained joint orders. The McWane Ductile foundries work together to make sure we keep our delivery promises to our customers as best we can.
Lastly, we must have a purchase order on file so we can book your material in order to meet your timeline. Lead times do not start when you request the information, but when your purchase order is received. Once material is produced, trucking of the product must be scheduled which could add a few days to your lead time, so please keep that in mind.
Seasons Affect Demand
Another important factor we must consider when calculating lead times is the seasonal demand of Ductile iron pipe. Warmer weather in the spring and summer months allows for increased construction of waterworks projects across the country which in-turn, creates higher demand for ductile iron pipe.
For more information on information needed when requesting a quote or ordering ductile iron pipe, see another one of our helpful Iron Strong blogs, “How Much Does Ductile Iron Pipe Cost?” by Stuart Liddell, McWane Ductile Sales Operations Manager.
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