Thomas O'Connor

President & Founder

Tom O’Connor started Farmington Consulting Group, Farmington, Conn., for the distribution channel in 1982. He is nationally recognized in the distribution industry as a strategy consultant. O’Connor is also a contributing writer for Electrical Wholesaling and a best-selling author for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) with his book, “Strategic Planning for Distributors: Execution Isn’t Everything – It’s the Only Thing!”

Speaking Out: The Shrinking Electrical Landscape for Reps 
Following manufacturer consolidation and distributor consolidation, in the next three years the electrical market will experience accelerated manufacturers’ rep agency consolidation. This can pose either an opportunity or a threat.
A New Game Plan for Performance Reviews 
Electrical distributors, manufacturers, and reps that have kicked old-style annual performance appraisals to the curb and retrained their managers to give continual performance feedback through monthly high-performance coaching sessions achieve both higher employee productivity and employee satisfaction.
The Rep of the Future: Part 3, the Role of Sales and Marketing 

Rep sales forces will need to be restructured and re-trained to target specific types of customers and to provide more technical product information. We think reps’ sales organizations will undergo significant restructuring within the next five years. The rep of the future will need to add technical resources that align with the products and markets upon which the rep agency plans to grow.

The Rep of the Future: Part 2, Sales Technology and Demand Creation 
This article will drill down into the study’s findings on the need for reps to operate more efficiently and to use sales technology more effectively.
The Rep of the Future 
Results from a NEMRA/Farmington Consulting Group survey of independent manufacturers reps, electrical manufacturers, electrical distributors, electrical contractors and other buying influences on what they think about the rep’s role today and in the future.
On the Board: The value of boards of advisors and directors for electrical distributors
Private companies aren’t obligated to have outside directors. Inside directors are insulated and the boards of private companies are often packed with yes-men who rubber-stamp decisions. Outside directors can provide much-needed objective advice from a healthy distance.
Top 10 Reasons Your Business Strategy Could Fail 
We have consistently found 10 major reasons why these companies fail to execute their business strategies. The electrical distribution channel is not alone when it comes to flawed strategy execution.
Sea Changes in the Electrical Channel, Part III: Changing of the guard 
In research by Farmington Consulting Group, many electrical distributors, manufacturers, and independent manufacturers’ representatives said one of their greatest challenges is acquiring and retaining talent.
Sea Changes in the Electrical Channel, Part II: Distributor consolidation and direct sales 
Electrical distributor consolidation will accelerate and plenty of opportunities will exist for large or mid-size independent electrical distributors to sell over the next five years.
Sea Changes in the Electrical Channel 
A new study by Farmington Consulting Group found the electrical market is now operating with an inefficient channel structure that will undergo five significant sea changes within the next five years.
Measuring Service: Electric Supply Inc.

In a market that was once full of local independent electrical distributors, now only one remains — Electric Supply Inc. The Tampa-based company is a single-location electrical distributor that services the contractor/industrial, data communications, utility and international markets. Founded in 1970 by the late George Adams, Sr., Electric Supply Inc. is now the only locally owned independent electrical distributor remaining in the Tampa Bay market. All other independents in the market have either gone out of business or been bought out. Electric Supply Inc.

Making Strategic Planning Matter
Poor execution is the top reason why distribution strategies fail. Strategic planning is not only about the planning just as importantly, it's about the
The Rep of the Future
A recent study suggests that more electrical product reps will need to evolve from peddlers to market-driven strategists.
Relating to Reps
Astudy our firm conducted recently or the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA), Portsmouth, N.H., was intended to help
Guaranteeing Service
Here's how you can use customer service guarantees as a competitive advantage


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