Tuesday, August 17, 2021


In the film Groundhog Day, the plot is about a reluctant weatherman sent to report on a weather-forecasting groundhog. His frustration with having to cover the story is evident, and when awakening the following morning, he discovers that the day happens over and over again.

This plot is appropriate in following the trade and supply chain industry over the last 18 months. Case in point - China recently announced a shutdown one of the world’s busiest container ports due to a Covid outbreak. If this disruption wasn’t enough, “container prices also have soared, with the benchmark cost of shipping a container up more than 220% over the past year to this week.”

Any shipping delays threaten the flow of everything from toilet paper to technology-related components, similar to last year as the pandemic took hold. Unlike 2020, however, we’re all better prepared to minimize the exposure to any long-term impact on our respective businesses.

For Comstar Supply, that means we’ve taken stronger stock positions in key products, strengthened existing supplier agreements, and partnered with additional manufacturers to ensure access to critical network components for our customers.

On the service provider side, we’ve seen a priority being placed on pre-buying well ahead of need, detailed 18-month forecasting, and a greater acceptance of making, and approving, a plan B.

Bill Murray’s character in the film, Phil Connors, states in the movie, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” At Comstar, our efforts over the last 18 months did matter. Our ability to be flexible and nimble in the face of supply chain disruptions was to focus on our core competencies: our capabilities, collaboration, and customer service. Each of these differentiators helps define our internal focus, yet when executed together, ensure game-changing outcomes for our customers.

A distributor can’t necessarily be everything to everyone. Understanding that, and focusing on core competencies, is what has made Comstar Supply successful in the telecom distribution arena for the last 25+ years.

We manage thousands of relationships with suppliers and manufacturers to offer a comprehensive portfolio of products for the outside plant space. This allows us to take a strong stock position in a number of items, especially in terms of fiber cable.

Comstar Supply helps customers meet their business objectives by playing a critical role in the planning and delivery of their outside plant material. We build relationships that are beneficial through mutual sharing of information. Things like forecasting 12-18 months out, key product bill of materials, pre-approving a series of plan B product alternatives, and key communication about the broadband and supply chain industries that are material impacting.

These types of conversations enable a continuous value exchange and are often the most critical step of engagement with our customers. Whether it’s allocating fiber connectivity during turbulent production times or stocking critical hardware that can be drop-shipped on a moment’s notice, these kinds of strategic conversations ensure adequate product and timely delivery of material.

Customer Service
Comstar Supply was built with a goal of providing the broadband industry with a customer experience unlike any other, while supplying the necessary materials to successfully complete projects in a timely and cost-effective manner. To do this, we place a focus on the needs of our customers. We foster strong relationships throughout each organization to ensure our ability to maximize value.

At one point in the movie, Bill Murray's character says, “Somebody asked me today, "Phil, if you could be anywhere in the world, where would you like to be?" For Comstar Supply, that answer, no matter the disruption, is right here beside all of our customers. One of our internal motto’s is simply: “We were built for this.” So, whether it’s a delivery for a job to a corporate headquarters or a drop shipment to a specific location, a $1 order or $1 million purchase, a short-term need or a long-term plan—we make sure we are ready and available for our customers at their every moment of need.



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