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HOOKEM4

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We have a few rural fire departments out by our ranch and they are asking for water, Gatorade and snacks during the wildfire season. I have a contingent that want to support them. I am wondering if anyone has a connect with someone that could make the dollars go farther. Ideally we would be buying everything with minimal markup. Probably a stretch but worth the ask. We donate to them every year but I want to see of we can make everything go farther. 

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1 minute ago, HOOKEM4 said:

We have a few rural fire departments out by our ranch and they are asking for water, Gatorade and snacks during the wildfire season. I have a contingent that want to support them. I am wondering if anyone has a connect with someone that could make the dollars go farther. Ideally we would be buying everything with minimal markup. Probably a stretch but worth the ask. We donate to them every year but I want to see of we can make everything go farther. 

As a Chief of a volunteer fire department thanks for doing that   It really helps as it is always a challenge to operate with tight budgets and our cost keep increasing  

 

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4 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

As a Chief of a volunteer fire department thanks for doing that   It really helps as it is always a challenge to operate with tight budgets and our cost keep increasing  

 

I reached out to heb and ozarka so far but I dont know who to talk to anywhere. We are looking at buying it all and letting the company take the credit but I really want to setup a matching deal. I see how hard these VFD folks work and dont think they should be wanting for water bottles.

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4 minutes ago, HOOKEM4 said:

I reached out to heb and ozarka so far but I dont know who to talk to anywhere. We are looking at buying it all and letting the company take the credit but I really want to setup a matching deal. I see how hard these VFD folks work and dont think they should be wanting for water bottles.

You may want to try a local store (Walmart or what ever) manager.  I have had a person purchase a pallet of water for my department at cost after explaining what he was trying to do. 
 

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1 hour ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

You may want to try a local store (Walmart or what ever) manager.  I have had a person purchase a pallet of water for my department at cost after explaining what he was trying to do. 
 

This is the correct answer. When I managed grocery stores we worked with local VFDs for supplies at cost.

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2 hours ago, deadshank said:

Where are / what are the names of the VFDs?   

Junction, London, Harper.

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It is frustrating trying to connect with people. I think I am going to just go to Sam's tomorrow morning and load up. I will do one FD this weekend and then bring the trailer back for next weekend. I reached out to the 3 local HEB stores nearest me and got crickets. I assume the pandemic is fucking this all up. I am going to try and set this up annually from now on. I am the laziest person you have met and hate asking anyone for help so I am way out of my element trying to bird dog support for this. I will sleep well knowing I tried at least and they will have a modest supply of their requested items.

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21 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

As a Chief of a volunteer fire department thanks for doing that   It really helps as it is always a challenge to operate with tight budgets and our cost keep increasing  

 

tv_sopranos0608and09-1000x600.jpg

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On 7/16/2020 at 10:35 PM, HOOKEM4 said:

We have a few rural fire departments out by our ranch and they are asking for water, Gatorade and snacks during the wildfire season. I have a contingent that want to support them. I am wondering if anyone has a connect with someone that could make the dollars go farther. Ideally we would be buying everything with minimal markup. Probably a stretch but worth the ask. We donate to them every year but I want to see of we can make everything go farther. 

Where do you live and where is the ranch? If you are trying to stretch pennies, transportation costs have to be factored in.

How much storage space do you have for bulk purchases?

What large suppliers are in your area? I buy bottled water by the case for cheap at the grocery story when it is on sale, or at places like Costco. Contact as high up the management chain you can for your area grocery stores and tell them what you are trying to accomplish. Call the president of the company. If that fails, try their internal contact for media inquiries (investor relations if that fails).

You need to determine their acquisition cost from the manufacturer. That will be about as low as you can go, unless you have a manufacturer/ bottler you can contact. Once you have that number, try to negotiate an arrangement where you can piggy back on their deliveries and pick up a palette or five at their most convenient delivery point. It is cheap PR for them to pass through product at cost and eat transportation costs. 

Other than that, I would call your area FEMA director (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are all run out of Denton, TX). Let them know what you are trying to accomplish. Ask if they have any existing logistics channels you can piggy back on to obtain product at whatever point is mutually agreeable.

Once you get a rough idea if you can piggy back on someone else's logistics channel, call around and see if other area departments also want to procure product in this manner. If you start running into obstacles, call your local congressperson's local office. Tell them what is holding you back and ask if they can use their contacts and abilities to get a few phone calls made to help get past your obstacle.

Your ace up your sleeve should be the local media outlets (newspapers, television, etc). If someone doesn't want to help, have a writer for the local paper call that person saying they are working on a story about what you are trying to do and they think it is a great thing that the company/person is willing to be a part of. Few individuals will want to explain to any reporter that they were actually unwilling to help what you are trying to make happen.

In the end, be willing to let any and everyone else get the credit. PR and public credit will be your currency to offer others.

That is how I would attack the problem.

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Touch base with their social media presence. But yeah if you’re paying freight on anything, it’s gonna be expensive.

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17 hours ago, Jkwellborn said:

Touch base with their social media presence. But yeah if you’re paying freight on anything, it’s gonna be expensive.

Deconstruct the price you are paying now by finding out what the producer sells for and what you buy for. The difference is your transportation and retailer profit. Attack each segment separately.

Retailer profit is easy to cut out (they will trade margin on water for PR). Move up the logistics chain to cut out warehouse profits and to piggy back on another bulk purchase.

Talk to the state comptroller about their existing contracts and see of you can work through them to piggy back on their purchases. Don't ask them for permission. No one at that level in state government has the authority to redirect anything of value because simply they think it would be a good idea to do so. Find out if it would be logistically possible. I don't see why it wouldn't be.

Once you determine if you can work within the existing state contracts, talk to your state rep and try to get an appropriation for an add-on state purchases for what you need. Ask your state rep to make it possible for you to receive what you want from a defined location. Essentially write the first draft of the specific authorization you need for X palletes of Y on or about Z date at the specified location and you will be far better served than to drop the problem on their staff and ask them to find the answer for you.

My guess is you will be working around $150/ palette (2000 bottles). Work out the logistics for your state rep, find a way to scale that plan out to other area firefighters in the same situation and work the numbers. Find out from FEMA and State Comptroller what it would reasonably cost to park a trailer of water and Gatorade in front of the local fire department and then explain how doing that saves money over the existing system. Don't forget the man-hours (person-hours) saved by individuals whose presence is time and mission critical (your firefighters).

http://www.txsmartbuy.com/contracts?filterBy=TxSmartBuy&page=1

Getting a cheap commodity delivered in bulk for those trying to save collective costs to others caused by forces of nature is pretty much the job of the state (theoretically, our collective pool of money to be used to address collective needs). Even free labor rises in price over time. In this instance, if the cost of firefighters goes up by the expense of a few trailers of water a gatorade, the people of Texas are still getting a great deal.

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Reach out to a food bank and ask their advice.  I listened in on a Houston Food Bank call the other day. Surprisingly they claimed that food supplies for them isn’t the problem during covid. They have more than enough food. The problem is volunteers or the funds to hire labor. 

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