Allen Ray

Allen Ray has years of experience as a distribution business owner and in information systems. He has also been a marketer of product data and  is currently a consultant to distributors, advising clients on how to stop  profit leakage and grow their bottom line. You can contact him at

Growing Better Branches: What Needs to Change? 

Better branches are built with better people. So it behooves you to find out what your people know and don’t know by position. Then you will know what to change. That’s why we executed a survey to find out what some distributors thought of their people’s skills and knowledge by position type.

AmazonSupply: Threat or Partner? 
AmazonSupply will eventually take a percentage of electrical industry sales. It’s just a question of how much and when. But not all customers will flock to AmazonSupply just because it exists. In the end, it may very well depend on what type of products they want to buy and what type of service they expect from a supplier of electrical products, whether it be a traditional electrical distributor or an online vendor like AmazonSupply.
Better Branches: A Change Has Got To Come 
The search for long-term advantage in all your markets begins with investing in branch operational excellence and the development of your people. Article 2 of Better Branches.
Illustration of tree with branches supporting various business functions.
Better Branches Make Better Brands
To build and maintain brand equity, you need to create consistent performance across all of your branches. These articles will help you do that. Part 1 of a series.
What It Takes To Grow: Thoughts for Electrical Distributors 

“Growth is hard to come by these days.”

That comment came in from a reader of our blog the other day. It really pains us to hear it, because many distributors share the thought. It is also symptomatic of why about 5% of distributors or fewer continue to grow consistently, while the other 95% do not. Part of the problem is right in the statement. If you look for growth, you won’t find it. You have to look for opportunities to add value. Looking for growth is like a vulture looking for something that’s crippled and almost dead.

Don’t Just Give It Away: Lowest cost and hidden risks
It’s not about getting the order. It’s about making profit on the order.
Elite Pitchers and Elite Profits: Electrical distributor salespeople must make the most of each pitch
Some electrical wholesalers spend a lot of time engineering their pricing matrices to different types of customers for different types of items. Then the salesperson, most often the inside salesperson, blows it all away in five seconds during one at bat.
The Secret to Profit Production: A guide for electrical distributors
You raise your on-base percentage by getting an order. But for an electrical distributor, failing to get more on each order is like leaving runners on base during an inning. And you only get so many chances to hit a home run in business.
The Biggest Profit Secrets for Electrical Distributors
The Biggest Profit Secrets for Electrical Distributors
Few wholesale distributors have entered the rarified air of 10% EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). It's super- elite territory, and less than 1% of distributors make it there. We've talked to such distributors, and actually worked for one. We know what they do in all facets of their business. We also know top management needs to absorb and drive performance in
Future Focus
Distributor enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems are the nervous system of any modern distributorship, but a recent study by Growth Wizards shows that distributor executives are plenty nervous about those systems
Out of the Fire
Expand your options and grow even when your markets haven't yet recovered.
Out of the Fire
After the fire, it's time to clean up and rebuild, beginning with back-office functions. Article three in a four-part series.
Out of the Fire
Focusing on your company's strengths and building out niches from that foundation may be the strongest response to the recession.
Out of the Fire
How independent distributors can reposition themselves to thrive after the economic calamity. Part 1 of 3
Planning to Succeed
Our economy has forced many companies to make tough decisions to enable them to survive. Moving forward, the construction industries are forecasted for slow growth, if any, for a number of years. Getting back to 2007 levels of business volume will not occur for a number of years. The only way to ensure your success is to be the master of your own destiny. To do that, you need a plan.


10 Trends Now Shaking the Electrical Industry Webinar

10 Trends Now Shaking the Electrical Industry Webinar 3

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The North American electrical wholesaling industry is being rocked by mergers & acquisitions, advances in technology, new competition from offshore and an uncertain economy. In this 60-minute webinar, Electrical Wholesaling Chief Editor Jim Lucy will discuss the changes in the electrical market now having the most impact on electrical distributors, electrical manufacturers and independent manufacturers’ reps....More
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