Supplies on the Road

AWI’s rolling warehouse premiers next week

On location picture 2_greener grass

AWI’s rolling warehouse can be seen at next week’s EASA Southwest Chapter convention in Tulsa, Okla.

American Wire and Insulation Supplies, of San Marcos, Tex., is bringing repair supplies to the road.

The company will be featuring a specialized mobile van at the EASA Southwest Chapter meeting this coming month. The “rolling warehouse” is equipped with inventory that includes bearings, magnet wire, sleeving, insulation materials, hand tools, and more. “Nobody else has done that,” Ron Westbrook, division manager of AWI Supplies, told EA. “Our biggest goal is to try to ship everybody 100%.”

The company has one traditional warehouse facility, so the van was a mutually beneficial idea of expanding their reach. Westbrook says competition within the industry usually involves high shipping costs, so AWI wants to help with customers’ freight. Strategic inventory decisions were factored in. “We have minimal space, so we’re carrying the most popular products,” Westbrook said.

The van is a novelty, and being the first of its kind, the company is eager to hear feedback and willing to make adjustments. “We’re still tweaking and testing it, trying to get it so it’s available to more people…if I can bring something, I’ll throw it on the van. I have movable items that people can buy off the van,” said Westbrook. AWI’s supply line includes bearings, electrical insulating materials, electric motors, pump panels, winding products, varnish, wire, and electric motor testing equipment.

Inventory 1

The van’s inventory currently includes bearings, sleeving, insulation materials, and hand tools, among other things. The products offered are likely to expand.

The van’s coverage area is likely to expand, as well. AWI is based in Texas. San Marcos is situated right in between the cities of San Antonio and Austin. But the company has customers in a number of surrounding states.  “In the future we’d like to get over to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas and if the thing takes off then maybe we can put some vans in the other states and supply them,” Westbrook said.

And of course, the van’s first out-of-state venture will be to Tulsa, Okla., for the EASA Southwestern Chapter’s Spring 2016 Convention, taking place next week from April 28-30.

*Editor’s note: This article was updated for clarity on 4/26/16.

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