Johnstone Supply in Bloomington, MN is an HVAC wholesale distributor that services the residential repair and replacement contractor. Their customers are the contractors that do the work, the skilled laborers. About five years ago Johnstone decided they wanted to try something different and be more progressive with the way they get products to customers. They viewed supply chain distribution as an opportunity to differentiate their business from competitors.
“There’s so much inventory that needs to be managed at the contractor level and ultimately that’s what we as distributors are there to do,” said Aaron Radke, President and CEO of Johnstone Supply - Bloomington Group.
Radke explained the problem is that customers’ vehicles can only carry so much and Johnstone saw a lot of time was wasted driving back and forth to get parts needed for a job. They started to see the cost of pulling full-time, skilled labor employees off of a job to drive across town to pick up parts. Johnstone wanted to maximize billable hours for contractors.
Johnstone had been using traditional couriers. “What would happen is the customer would call us, we would place the delivery on behalf of the customer, but then everybody in the channel would kind of lose visibility until we started asking questions,” explained Radke.
As an on-demand delivery platform, Dispatch offers visibility into the delivery process with dynamic ETAs, real-time GPS tracking, and communication with drivers.
“It’s really good for both us as the distributor and the contractor to have visibility into what’s happening with their delivery,” said Radke. “The main reasons we use Dispatch is the ease of use and the technology that’s driving the visibility into orders.”
Johnstone has embedded the Dispatch experience into their value proposition as a supplier. “I think they’re a great partner that can really help build up our customers’ experience and ultimately their profitability,” said Radke.
Johnstone still operates a fleet of vehicles internally, but using Dispatch as a third party partner has saved their business tens of thousands of dollars. Radke explained that they’ve saved money as the distributor by being able to scale logistics without being so asset heavy, and at the same time, given back billable hours to their customers.
“We’re excited to see Dispatch continue to expand and grow into other markets that we serve,” said Radke.
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