During extreme weather events, when innovating the electric grid, while supporting youth and education and even in securing infrastructure materials, the principle of ‘cooperation among cooperatives’ strengthens the work of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives.
Tarheel Electric Membership Association (TEMA) is one example of that cooperation. A cooperative organization with members in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, TEMA provides the materials and supplies needed to operate and maintain the electric system.
As the world has navigated the uncertainty of the pandemic and resulting challenges, the staff at TEMA has worked behind the scenes to ensure that poles, wires, transformers and other materials needed to keep the lights on are stocked and ready to ship.
“Our team here has worked hard, and I commend their dedication to providing top-notch service,” said Jason Caudle, TEMA chief operating officer, noting that trucks roll from the TEMA warehouse five days a week.
While supply chain issues have impacted businesses worldwide, TEMA has considered market forecasts and worked closely with members to plan ahead, taking steps like increasing its inventory of some critical materials from 90-day to 120- and 180-days to offset longer lead times.
“In this environment, we try to keep our crystal ball as clear as possible,” Caudle said. “By working closely with our members, we can plan and stay ready to best serve co-op consumer-members.”
Looking ahead, Caudle’s team will continue working together with its members to plan and ensure cooperatives can access the materials that they need when they need them, all at the lowest possible cost.
“By working together through TEMA, electric cooperatives can source materials more cost-effectively, and receive them efficiently from a warehouse in state,” Caudle said. “TEMA is owned by the members we serve and relies on cooperation among cooperatives – and we are seeing firsthand that the cooperative model works.”