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3 Hidden Costs of Managing Multiple Equipment Suppliers

Employee juggling chainsaws with the words "complex equipment integration," "design and compatibility challenges," and "managing spare parts"

Managing multiple equipment suppliers can be like juggling chainsaws – it requires constant attention and precision to avoid disaster. Like each spinning blade, if one supplier slips, it can lead to costly mistakes or disruptions for your bulk material handling operation.

A long list of suppliers can sometimes wreak havoc on your operational efficiency and financial stability: integration can be complex, compatibility issues abound and managing spare parts can be a hassle. Any one of these hiccups can cause material flow interruptions, or worse.

  1. Integration Complexity: Your production line depends on each piece of equipment working together seamlessly. When you’re trying to integrate material handling and processing equipment from several different vendors, it adds a layer of complexity (and sometimes cost). For example, software systems from different suppliers may not be designed to communicate with one another, which means you may have to pay for troubleshooting, synchronization and equipment installation.

  1. Sub-Optimal Design and Compatibility Issues: The challenges don’t end with software systems. Hardware components such as sensors, actuators and controllers may have different specifications or interfaces, making it difficult to integrate them into a cohesive bulk material handling system. There’s also a higher risk of miscommunication, errors and delays between vendors, which can increase downtime, impact overall performance and reduce production efficiency. 

  1. Managing Spare Parts Inventory: Requesting replacement parts from two or three suppliers is exponentially less complicated than having to do the same with 10 or 20. Once the requests are made, tracking parts from many different vendors costs time and money. Plus, if your approach is to wait until a part fails to replace it, you run the risk of not having the right part at a critical moment. Of course, having a parts inventory surplus can tie up capital that could be invested elsewhere instead of storage fees, insurance and depreciation costs.  

There are other sources of inefficiency and indirect costs when you rely on a long list of suppliers: inconsistent production, delayed response times and inadequate operator training, to name a few. You can learn how to avoid these traps and increase your bottom line here.

At Cablevey, we’re not just a trusted manufacturer of tubular drag conveyors – we’re a single source for all your production line needs.

With sister manufacturing brands in automated handling and material processing, we can act fast to get the equipment, service and expertise you need for any stage of your process:

  • Moving, loading and unloading material with Spiroflow
  • Mixing, blending, breaking or heating material with Marion
  • Screening, sifting, drying, cooling or moisturizing with Kason

With one supplier, you can consolidate your vendor list and prevent costly miscommunication, compatibility issues and fragmented maintenance support, saving you valuable time and money. You’ll also benefit by:

  • Saving up to 30% by avoiding integrator markups
  • One-stop-shopping for parts and maintenance
  • Leveraging our deep industry expertise in every processing discipline

Learn more about our family of brands and end-to-end equipment capabilities at or contact our experts.

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