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    Cadent engineer

    Product Plus: improving efficiency and safety

    Safety and compliance are paramount concerns for Cadent.

    End inefficient, costly procurement processes

    Procurement teams and engineers face several challenges with how they source industrial consumables and manage their supply chain. With complexity coming from a number of stakeholders involved, a fragmented supply base and the range of products split across categories.

    A large part of process costs can be due to inefficient inventory management. This particularly applies to low-value, fast moving industrial consumables. Overstocking, poor stock monitoring, shrinkage and availability issues lead to lost productivity and downtime.

    There are some businesses and services that we all rely on without being aware of them. Cadent is one such firm, with 3,000 engineers and an extensive pipe network that connects individuals and organisations with the gas that they need. The company’s National Distribution Centre is in Birmingham.


    Cadent has a number of manned and un-manned sites around the country and on any given day, new supplies may be needed at 25 different locations. Finding an efficient way to handle orders is essential. There is also an important compliance angle to consider. Certain products are critical, as they have been written into Cadent’s standard operating procedures and not using them invalidates the company’s work.

    The company’s standard operating procedures specify that its engineers use cold shrink tubes and end caps to seal off pipe joints for gas connections in residential and commercial premises. The benefit of cold-shrink products is that no hot work permit is required – and therefore neither is a risk assessment nor method statement. This, in turn, saves time and resources too. Cadent began using cold-shrink tubes and end caps a number of years ago, purchasing them directly from an OEM. Following some internal changes Cadent turned to RS to help support.


    The best way for Cadent to ensure compliance with the stringent safety requirements required of gas companies was to work closely with a trusted contract supplier like RS. The RS ProductPlus service allows authorised employees to source a vast number of products, including items not published on the RS Components website: over a million items from more than 2,500 manufacturers. Whereas sourcing items across multiple vendors is inefficient and time-consuming, consolidating purchasing with RS ProductPlus reduces purchase orders, saves time to source items and helps companies to leverage spend.

    RS's ProductPlus team will advise whether an alternative compliant product offering functionality or value for money benefits is available. The team also provide a quote and expedite orders for delivery to site or a local branch of RS Components. The network of local branches is also a useful part of the support that RS provides for Cadent. Core items that they need frequently are delivered on a regular basis to Cadent’s National Delivery Centre from the RS Local Birmingham Branch. Larger items come directly from the RS warehouse in nearby Nuneaton.


    Working closely with RS has brought numerous benefits for Cadent. RS ProductPlus has enabled the company to consolidate its tail-end supply and reduce the number of suppliers. This means better control of the supply chain process. Innovations such as this have clear advantages, notably saving time on orders. For example, Cadent is working on smart meter installations as part of the government rollout. The procurement team provided a specification for the parts required for this – and most of them are now sourced via RS ProductPlus rather than from several different suppliers.

    With the high volume of sales involved, the time-savings add up. Over the past 12 months, two-thirds of Cadent’s total spend with RS went on 25 key parts that are sourced through RS ProductPlus.

    Leave the leg work to us  

    Consolidating more of your purchasing with RS reduces purchase orders and helps you leverage your spend. Speak to your account manager to see if this service is right for your business or contact us directly below.

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