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Overcoming a Critical Inventory Shortage with Grainger's Support



When an inventory shortage nearly brought a small industrial manufacturer's production to a halt, Grainger provided a creative parts-sourcing solution to help keep its business running and stave off potential losses of more than $10,000.

About the Customer

Based out of Wright City, Missouri, Mittler Brothers specializes in industrial manufacturing and machine design. They also produce a proprietary product line of bead rollers, which are a critical part of their operations.

The Challenge

Mittler Brothers faced a significant supply chain challenge during the pandemic. With a lead time of six to nine months for the motors used in the bead rollers, they were on the brink of losing valuable inventory. Shannon Heinrich, a representative from Mittler Brothers, shared their experience, highlighting Grainger's crucial role during this trying time.

"Before COVID, we only kept a few motors in stock as we usually ship out 5-10 bead rollers per week," Heinrich said. "When the pandemic hit, the lead time for motors became incredibly long, making it hard for us to keep up with the demand."

With a lack of critical components for their bead rollers, Mittler Brothers had to inform customers about potential delays. Although Grainger offered to source alternative motors to help with the backlog of orders, Mittler Brothers had been using the same motor for almost a decade and was hesitant to switch due to potential complications.


Fortunately, their Grainger sales representative stepped in and made a remarkable difference. "Our Grainger rep worked hard to secure special bulk pricing for up to 500 motors," Heinrich said. "This allowed us to stock up for a whole year, saving us from losing more than $10,000 worth of inventory. Without Grainger's help, it would have been a major setback for us."

From finding motors and critical parts in a pinch to our vast supplier network, explore more ways Grainger can help.

In addition to this vital support, Grainger's KeepStock® inventory management played a pivotal role in Mittler Brothers' operations. While not a primary solution for the critical inventory shortage, Heinrich noted how the consistent supply of essential items from their KeepStock machine helped the company save significantly over the years. By simplifying the tracking and management of safety gear, Grainger's solutions have not only saved time but also contributed to the overall improvement of Mittler Brothers' business operations.


With Grainger’s assistance, Mittler Brothers was able to successfully navigate the inventory shortage crisis. By securing a year’s worth of motor and drive components, Mittler Brothers avoided potential losses exceeding $10,000. Additionally, KeepStock vendor-managed inventory solutions helped to further streamline Mittler Brothers’ operations.


Grainger’s swift response and collaborative approach, combined with its vast network of suppliers, helped Mittler Brothers recover from a substantial setback during a critical time. This strategic supplier management demonstrated how the right support is essential for transforming supply chain challenges into greater business opportunities.

“During the pandemic where there were many supply chain issues, we had many critical parts that were extremely difficult to find. Our local Grainger suppliers and reps worked very hard for us to make sure we never ran out of product. Grainger is a true partner with us and has been for many years, and we know we can count on them to help us keep our business going day in and day out."

Paul Mittler, President of Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool

The testimonial presented are applicable to the individuals or companies providing the information and may not be indicative of future outcomes. Grainger cannot guarantee, promise the same experience and outcomes may vary.



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The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.