From the White House to the house down the street, Leviton Manufacturing Co. Inc. is all about creating connections. The New York-based company is one of the world’s leading providers of electrical wiring systems, network and data center connectivity solutions, and lighting energy management systems for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. It is the largest privately held manufacturer of electrical, electronic and telecommunications devices in North America. Its products can be found in most of the homes in the United States, including the home occupied by the President in Washington, D.C.
With sales in nearly 80 countries and a product portfolio that includes more than 25,000 different SKUs and 600 patents, managing a supply chain the size of Leviton’s is no simple feat. Nevertheless, Director of Logistics Supply Chain Brian K. Morgan says the company has maintained a high level of supply chain excellence over the years while delivering a strong degree of customer focus. In recent years, Morgan has overseen the integration of more technology into the company’s supply chain operations in an effort to improve the overall customer experience and deliver greater value and efficiency on a daily basis.
By implementing new technology from key strategic partners, Leviton has created an internal supply chain culture that strives to help its customers in the construction and electrical contracting industries compete in an increasingly global marketplace. By doing so, Leviton is working to create more collaborative relationships with its customers and develop the supply chain strengths it will need to maintain its leadership position in the industry for many years to come.
An engineer by trade who has served in crucial supply chain roles for HP and United Technologies Corp., among others, Morgan says one of the greatest attributes of Leviton’s supply chain operations is where it chooses to focus its attention. “One of the greatest strengths of Leviton’s supply chain is really the focus on the customer,” he says. “One of the areas that really impressed me with Leviton is that the focus has always been on the customer.”
This is in stark contrast to the supply chain operations of many other companies, who focus the majority of their attentions internally. Morgan says every node of Leviton’s supply chain is focused on the question of how its actions ultimately impact the customer experience, and this is why the company has become a trusted partner for thousands of customers around the world. “It’s not something that you can fake – you either have it or you don’t,” Morgan says. “We ask ourselves those questions and it’s really ingrained into the DNA of Leviton.”
As part of that focus, Leviton recently took a close look at its supply chain operations for areas that needed improvement or ways in which the company could accelerate its capability to serve customers. Morgan says one of the key areas of improvement his team identified was increasing the visibility of products along the supply chain. He says the company aimed to provide customers with an experience similar to online retailer Amazon, which provides customers with up-to-the-minute tracking information for their orders.
To help realize this vision, Leviton looked for a technology partner that could provide the tools it needed to give customers the type of start-to-finish visibility of Amazon. Morgan explains that Leviton found a great match in LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions, a leading provider of supply chain consulting services and software platforms.
Thanks to the tools provided by LynnCo, Leviton has been able to increase the visibility of its products throughout the company’s entire supply chain.
Making such advancements has become increasingly important in today’s marketplace, Morgan says, and Leviton recognizes the need to be on the cutting-edge of the industry because customers’ expectations are always evolving. Whereas it used to be possible for a manufacturer to distinguish itself solely on the quality of its products, the highest level of quality is now something customers demand and instead look for other value-added propositions when choosing a supplier.
Morgan says today’s supply chains need to consistently demonstrate excellence to win and sustain business, and working closely with technology partners such as LynnCo is one way Leviton is working to deliver that confidence. Leviton understands that working with a technology leader like LynnCo is not only a solid way to back up its promises to its customers, but also an opportunity to learn on the job and keep up with customers’ changing expectations.
“The customer is not going to wait for you to go through that learning curve,” Morgan says.
Collaboration will continue to be Leviton’s focus for the future, as issues such as volatile fuel prices and potential labor disruptions at the ports increase the pressure on all points along the supply chain. With more sophisticated data systems and greater sharing of information, Leviton is gearing up for the global supply chain landscape of the future. “You’re going to continue to see a need for more flexibility and complexity management on a global scale,” Morgan predicts.