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Increasing-Supplier-Driven-Innovation

In the MIT Sloan Management Review article, Increasing Supplier-Driven Innovation, John W. Henke and Chun Zhang, write that “when customers collaborate with suppliers they can reduce relational stress, and increase innovation-related activities.”

The ALP Supply Regional Sales Managers, Inside Sales Technicians and Technical Solutions Team are all responsible for building strong customer relationships.

 

“Discussing challenges and opportunities instead of just dollars and cents helps us build relationships and allows us to grow together,” says Christian Rescate, ALP Supply, COO. And our customers love us for it.

“Involving suppliers in the product development process …can reap great benefits for the customer. These benefits include shortened product development cycle times, lower costs, and higher-quality end products,” wrote Henke and Zhang.

A Problem Lifting Double-Tees

Engineering EVP, David Jablonsky, PE, FPCI, talks about a time when a customer contacted ALP Supply for help with a problem lifting their Double-Tees. “They came to ALP Supply because of the partnership we developed,” Jablonsky says.

Double-Tees can be designed differently depending on the geographic location of the precaster, their customer needs and the design parameters. In certain locations, the vertical support members, or stems, of Double-Tees are shorter in length and can also vary in width and strand patterns compared to those designed for structures in other areas.

Double-Tee Example, source NPCA

Double-Tee Example, source NPCA

Double-Tee Example: Source PCI

Double-Tee Example: Source PCI

 

Solution – a New Anchor

The ALP Supply Technical Solutions Team worked with the customer to create a new anchor design. They jointly tested it at the customer’s plant and confirmed the anchor exceeded the required lifting capacities.

Another benefit – the customer did not have to change their lifting methods with this new anchor.

Collaboration = Innovation = Growth

For this customer, the new anchor provided a huge cost savings. “When we get to that level with our customer, it opens other doors. Now we’re in their plant, we’re doing testing with them, and together generate new opportunities,” says Jablonsky.