Fascel Group employs more than 100 field staff, including fully qualified pipefitters, plumbers and welders within Fascel Mechanical. With the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply estimating that it costs organisations £50 to process every invoice** Managing Director of Fascel, Andy Carr realised early on that there was an increased emphasis on the business to address the procurement of the thousands of product variations purchased across the group.
Pipe Center, a leading supplier of commercial heating products and fabrication services to the commercial and industrial building services industry that has more than 59 branches, nine of which are located within the M25, has always been an ideal partner for Fascel.
Fascel employees regularly use a number of Pipe Center branches in the South East including Slough, Luton and King’s Cross – the latter of which recently invested £180k into streamlining its product offering in response to an increase in demand (particularly from Fascel) for its essential product lines. Fascel workers use different branches for different purposes, for example the benefit of the King’s Cross branch is that it is easy to access on foot and via public transport so tradespeople can visit en route to a central London project.
In 2010 Pipe Center identified a clear opportunity for Fascel to appoint an embedded contracts advisor into its Luton office in order to refine its internal purchasing processes. Chris Lawrence, an industry professional with more than 16 years experience who had worked with Andy Carr earlier in his career, was appointed into the role by Pipe Center and relocated from the Luton branch into Fascel’s own offices. Today Chris acts as a Pipe Center hub within the business, working on requisitions and sub-requirements for deliveries and collections.
Not only does Chris’ role increase efficiency levels with regards to placing orders and raising quotations, he is on hand to source project support within the supply chain and to make regular contact with key suppliers – something which would have otherwise taken a significant amount of time in-house.
Much of the work Fascel carries out is for hospitals, schools, office blocks, colleges, universities and more recently data centres. With there being a 50:50 split between new build and refurb projects, the product requirements normally relate to Pipe Center’s traditional range of products including copper, stainless steel, carbon steel, copper pipe, plastic and malleable steel products. Chris Lawrence commented: “It is quite common for engineers to request traditional product ranges because they are proven. Often, if a company has had a bad experience with newer ranges they will revert back to the products they trained with. This is why Pipe Center is the ideal partner to Fascel – the broad product range encompasses everything from the tried and tested variations to the later, more innovative kinds.”
Andy Carr commented: “Integrating Chris into the Fascel team has meant that we have experienced a wealth of benefits as a business. By replacing a large disjointed supplier base with one key embedded contracts advisor has meant we have been able to reduce transaction costs because Chris is as dedicated as us when it comes to saving the company money and adding value through close collaboration. We have seen far less time spent on ordering, invoicing and general administration since Chris’ appointment.”
Robb Alsem from Pipe Center said: “Our relationship with Fascel is a good example of how Pipe Center can play an integral role within our customer’s business. We are really pleased to have them as a partner and we take real pride in giving them all-star service.”
For more information on Pipe Center, visit: www.pipecenter.co.uk