How the COVID-19 crisis has shone a light on the flexible benefits of call-off and scheduled order arrangements

With organisations in every sector across the globe impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, many have been forced into a new, and often uncomfortable, level of flexibility driven by necessity.

In many cases this has taken the form of running skeleton teams and furloughing staff, in others it’s meant relying on online services, digital innovation and video software to keep businesses running.

Either way, barely a day goes without a senior business leader having to make a tough decision, adapt to an unprecedented situation and step even further out of their comfort zone.

And with hindsight being 20/20, many senior managers will now be wishing they had always run a more flexible and agile ship, to make this strange and uncertain period feel a little more comfortable. Those managers are likely to be those who have surplus stock, unable to be shifted, sat on shelves and in warehouses.

No matter how uncomfortable this increased need for flexibility has made business owners feel in the short term, it’s likely an aspect of their business that they’ll want to keep moving forward, and it’d be a surprise if those with purchasing functions don’t see an increase in value of taking advantage of call-off and scheduled order arrangements wherever possible.

What are the benefits of call-off arrangements?

At Northern Connectors we offer scheduled order arrangements with many of our customers, who benefit from the supply of materials being secured over multiple delivery dates and/or ‘calling off’ stock as and when it is required.

Just some of the benefits of these agreements include:

Saving money

Many customers are able to improve their budgeting given that they only pay for the components they need when they actually remove them from the warehouse stock. What’s more, many long-term arrangements lead to high volume discounts for purchasers.

In addition, many call-off arrangements offer fixed pricing, protecting purchasers from unexpected price hikes further down the line.

Improving capacity utilisation

Having the right parts at the right time has a natural knock-on effect on capacity utilisation, maximising efficiency and productivity and reducing the risk of production lines grinding to a halt.

Reducing order-to-delivery lead time

Scheduling orders closer to delivery can significantly improve order-to-delivery time, consequently reducing the risk of holding inventory and thus reducing the risk of waste in your organisation. All of which will have a positive impact on your service to your customers.

How do call-off arrangements typically work?

In order to provide as much flexibility as possible, and the range of benefits listed above, we have been offering call-off arrangements to our loyal customers for many years. The process typically works as follows:

Northern Connectors will negotiate with the manufacturer on your behalf, providing fixed pricing and confirming all costs and options up front, including the expected start date.

We’ll inform you when the stock first arrives at our site in St. Helens, at which point the agreement period will start.

We will invoice you only when we deliver your goods and a final invoice will be sent with the balance of any remaining stock typically at the 12-month period (if not taken before).

We will send you a monthly update informing you of the balance of stock and the period left. We’ll also give you advanced notice when the agreement is nearing its end.

About Northern Connectors

Northern Connectors was established over 35 years ago by husband and wife team Keith and Linda Hewitt. From humble beginnings trading from a small unit in St. Helens with initially just one franchise agreement, the business has grown to become a celebrated and successful company which represents more than ten of the industry’s top connector manufacturers.

Northern Connectors remains a family run business with both first and second generations now involved in the day-to-day running of the company.

To enquire about placing a forward, scheduled or call-off order please contact us today on 01744 815 001 or get in touch via our website:

Our long-term stock agreements are non-cancellable but we will always endeavour to help you with any challenges you have regarding changes in customer demand.