The best business partnerships are dependent on many factors, with trust and ability to meet expectations two foundational elements at the center of any strong relationship. In Ryerson’s case, being a reliable partner often translates into increased efficiency and cost savings for customers.
Specific to one long-standing Ryerson customer, Vehicle Service Group (VSG), trust and dependability in Ryerson is earned through the company’s customized approach to product delivery that provides VSG with exactly what it needs, right when it’s needed. Tall orders, but Ryerson answers the call every time through its unique vendor-managed inventory program, just-in-time delivery promise and full suite of processing capabilities – services that have been instrumental in helping VSG consistently meet delivery timelines and steadily grow its business.
Ryerson, Providing a Higher Level of Service
A global leader in the vehicle service industry, VSG is made up of nine brands representing a wide range of vehicle lifting equipment and collision repair systems. Its lifting equipment handles everything from light weight motorcycles to heavy-duty busses, 18-wheelers and even trains – transportation titans that can weigh up to 130,000 lbs. This equipment requires materials that are powerful, predictable and precise.
Ryerson supplies VSG with over 600 items, from sheet, plate and tubing to structural shapes, fabricated parts and stock items. But beyond providing products of uncompromising quality, the strength of the bond forged with VSG has every bit as much to do with the uncompromising quality of Ryerson’s service.
Ryerson representatives are present at VSG headquarters in Madison, Indiana every week, interacting with all aspects of the business including purchasing, operations, quality, engineering, shipping and logistics. This hands-on approach helps ensure Ryerson understands VSG from the inside out, including its current needs and future goals.
“Being involved with every stage of VSG’s production cycle allows us to be proactive in anticipating and averting any problems, while at the same time offering solutions that can help VSG improve efficiency, productivity and cash flow,” said Jeanne Olding, senior account manager at Ryerson.
Some of these solutions involve offering enhanced delivery services – making sure VSG has products when and how they need them.
Vendor-Managed Inventory Programs: Setting Ryerson Apart and Above
One way Ryerson is helping VSG improve cash flow is with its unique, vendor-managed inventory program, designed to help VSG reduce its inventory costs, while at the same time improve its bottom line.
Here’s how it works: Ryerson stores an extensive variety of high volume items on VSG’s premises so VSG has frequently used products on-hand when they’re needed. Each day, VSG tracks the quantity of stock used and reports the inventory level back to Ryerson so Ryerson can automatically replenish products as they are needed. Because Ryerson manages the fulfillment side of the program, VSG saves time by not having to carefully review stock and place orders.
“We needed a way to quickly respond to our industry’s demand fluctuations and Ryerson helped us design a system that works well for our business,” said Sandy Bruns, senior commodity manager at VSG. “Ryerson’s vendor-managed inventory program ensures we have the products we need onsite for production so we can efficiently meet our customers’ requirements and requests.”
Just-In-Time Delivery? Just Say When
Complementing Ryerson’s vendor-managed inventory program is its just-in-time delivery service, which gives VSG quick access to materials that may not already be onsite. Dedicated delivery trucks haul shipments to VSG daily, arriving early each morning to ensure VSG has the product it needs for the day with little to no wait time. Occasional special runs help VSG further avoid or minimize disruptions that can impact its entire supply chain.
During one particularly busy season, VSG increased its work schedule to include weekend shifts so it could meet a customer’s product delivery timeline. By making special arrangements with its trucking fleet, Ryerson was able to quickly respond to VSG’s increase in demand, delivering additional product on Friday afternoons to ensure VSG was equipped with the materials it needed prior to each weekend.
“We repeatedly depend upon Ryerson to get the products we need in the timeframe we need them and they have always come through for us, helping us avoid potentially costly delays,” said Phillip Brittain, value stream leader with VSG.
Processing, Yet Another Level of Value, Added
When VSG experiences an increase in demand or has equipment issues, it relies on Ryerson to keep its production up and running. “Ryerson has the capability to conduct many of the same processing and fabrication tasks VSG manages in-house, so we can provide seamless support to VSG when needed without impacting its supply chain,” said Brad Raines, general manager for Ryerson in Columbus, Ohio.
Whatever it takes, from oxy-fuel and beam cutting to burning and forming, as well as a host of other processing services, Ryerson is available to help VSG efficiently meet its production numbers. It’s those value-added services and Ryerson’s level of responsiveness that have prompted VSG to name Ryerson as its “Supplier of the Year” two years in a row. By going the extra mile, Ryerson has built an unwavering trust that’s been the foundation of its relationship with VSG.
Bruns reflects, “Ryerson and VSG are two world-class companies that have been able to work together to achieve outstanding results. Our partnership is a productive one that I can see continuing well into the future.”