Company profiles

Black Box Corp. "Thinking out of the box" A distributor doesn't usually get involved on the installation side of the business-unless the distributor is Black Box Corp. October, p. 26

CLS & Omni Cable Corp. "Wired together" CLS has a reputation for innovations. This article takes a look at its latest venture into uncharted territory: an unusual partnership with wire specialist Omni Cable. October, p. 33

Communications Supply Corp. "Harnessing the power of leadership" Communications Supply Corp. (CSC) is fast emerging as one of the top-tier datacommunications suppliers. October, p. 28

Fastenal Co. "On the Fastenal track" A fresh perspective on the distribution business from a non-electrical distributor. December, p. 34

Graybar Electric Co. "Gearing up for growth" A talk with Graybar President Carl Hall about his plans to take the largest electrical distributor in the U.S. into the 21st century. May, p. 47

Integrated Electrical Services (IES) "Living large" A decentralized purchasing strategy has manufacturers and distributors alike hoping for preferred vendor status at the end of their pilgrimage to IES in Dallas, Texas. September, p. 24

Kennedy Electrical Supply Corp. "New York state of mind" Selling a traditional product package in the Big Apple isn't easy with price wars, the clout of the IBEW's Local 3 and the logistics of doing business at New York's manic pace. Selling switchgear is even tougher. April, p. 28

King Wire, Inc. "A plan to be the online king of wire" Imagine ordering wire and cable as easily as buying a book through Amazon.com. King Wire is making it happen. August, p. 34

NetPossibilities "An online electrical land" Joe Cartin of NetPossibilities is banking on an auction site where distributors and customers can find each other online with the click of a mouse. August, p. 25

Quanta Electrical Services "Living large" A new breed of electrical contractor: Focusing on cable television and utility markets as well as electrical construction, Quanta plays the game a little differently. December, p. 52

Datacom market

Datacom dilemma There's opportunity in datacom. But is it as big or as available as it seems? April, p. 8

Distributors in datacom This article on the voice/data market explores the biggest roadblock to bringing information into the residential market-the local telephone companies. May, p. 67

Princeton graduates to fiber optics Plunging into datacom, an electrical contractor tackles a major fiber upgrade at Princeton University. June, p. 61

The basics of fiber optics Loose tubes. Tight tubes, Light tubes. Buffers. This article will shed some light on how light is used to send communication signals. July, p. 42

The persistence of stupid homes Brisk construction of upscale housing and the rise of home offices are driving sales of in-home systems. But will home automation ever fulfill the promise it held years ago? July, p. 26

Wonder wire The communications backbone of truly electronic homes offers electrical distributors some interesting sales opportunities. July, p. 29 The basics of fiber optics II Go inside the tube itself and see what makes fiber optics work. August, p. 41

Fiber optics The critical aspects of transmitting data across a fiber-optic network and how it is affected by splicing, connecting, terminating and light loss. September, p. 37

Editorials, opinions & industry analysis

Industry evolution NAW's latest report outlines the key trends to shape distribution over the next five years. January, p. 8

The ties that bind Evaluate how your company's package of value-added services differs from what your competitors provide. January, p. 58

The impact of consolidation If consolidation hasn't hit your market yet, you may not have long to wait. February, p. 8

A call for certification Independent manufacturers' reps see value in becoming certified as professional reps. February, p. 74

A call for entries Don't let your company go uncounted in EW's annual listing. March, p. 8

Datacom dilemma There's opportunity in datacom. But is it as big or as available as it seems? April, p. 8

Taking pains to train A new book from EW's chief editor offers some assistance in training new recruits. May, p. 8

The need to know Manufacturers are using sophisticated software to take cost out of the supply chain. May, p. 98

Status quo surprise Despite the ongoing acquisition trend, the industry remains surprisingly static. June, p. 8

Creating demand Distributors can compete with ESCOs if they create demand for energy-efficient products. June, p. 78

Heads up on Home Depot The home center giant's interest in lighting is of interest to all of us. July, p. 8

Distributors' hot buttons Determining distributors' most pressing concerns proves difficult at best. August, p. 6

Sales force of the future As the electrical industry matures, the role of the salesperson will change dramatically. August, p. 58

Contractor colossus Contractor consolidation hasn't wiped out the electrical industry's business basics. September, p. 6

The case for national pricing Would national pricing eliminate wasted effort for all links in the marketing chain? September, p. 58

Contractor connection EW will have a stronger connection to the end-user side of the business. October, p. 8

Carbon-monoxide detectors There will be a rise in demand for carbon-monoxide detectors as legislation for the products spreads. October, p. 90

The power of planning EW's Andrea Herbert produces the industry's most valuable tool for market planning. November, p. 8

On target Ten years ago, forward-thinking distributors, reps and manufacturers hit the mark with their forecasts for the 1990s. December, p. 8

The importance of selling with soul Account managers must forget about quick-fixes and listen to the customer's concerns to improve the relationship. December, p. 90

Electronic commerce & Computers

Synchronized for you IDW developers are working feverishly to ensure it will be launched as promised in the second quarter of this year. February, p. 26 Vying for top billing In an increasingly technology-centered marketplace, electrical distributors must update their computers systems to meet demands. March, p. 24

Software selection guide Finding the business software that's a good fit for your company isn't getting any easier. May, p. 36

The need to know Manufacturers are using sophisticated software to take cost out of the supply chain. May, p. 98

Getting wired IDEA has the go-ahead to create a high-speed, secure extranet for electronic communications among electrical distributors and electrical manufacturers. June, p. 26

A Web spun of gold The electrical market ventures onto the web where virtual stores are opening gilded doors. August, p. 24

NetPossibilities "An online electrical land" Joe Cartin is banking on an online auction site where distributors and customers can find each other with the click of a mouse. August, p. 25

Get ready for cyber-selling You mastered merchandising and branch design, then up popped the Internet. Now you have a whole new design-build project to worry about-in Cyberspace, no less. August, p. 26

King Wire, Inc. "A plan to be the online king of wire" Imagine ordering wire and cable as easily as buying a book through Amazon.com. King Wire is making it happen. August, p. 34

Your next language lesson The next generation of Internet markup language is on our doorstep. August, p. 38

IDW goes live The IDW finally gives members access to manufacturers' product data. September, p. 33

Features

Fear of falling With product prices in free-fall, electrical distributors are forced to sell more products to hit the same numbers. January, p. 22

Meet the electrical contractor Here's help if you're an electrical industry newby or need to brush up on serving this key customer group. February, p. 36

Petrochemical devotion Distributors who know their way around the oil industry find that this market forces them to conform to some exacting service levels. January, p. 32

New view of IBM IBM is taking a new outlook on procurement of electrical distribution and control products. March, p. 30

Community effort A new online place to learn how distributors in other trades are overcoming the challenges bedeviling your own company. April, p. 24

Cashing in on casinos Growth from the gambling industry business should continue for the forseeable future. May, p. 34

Global market

Branching out globally Despite economic turmoil abroad, American distributors continue to look to faraway places for new business opportunities. March, p. 35

Mixed reviews on NAFTA Five years later, NAFTA still draws praise and criticism as it influences global business. August, p. 22

Update on Europe The new euro currency, plus a watchdog attitude by national governments and the European Union, have the EUEW concerned. September, p. 20

Industry Analysis A conversation on consolidation I Wall Street investment bankers and acquisitive electrical distributors answer questions about industry consolidation. January, p. 21

Consolidation conversation II Acquisitive electrical distributors continue their discussion on industry consolidation. February, p. 30

A league of their own Electrical leagues offer valuable training, networking opportunities and service discounts. But now they need to offer even more. April, p. 36

The super influentials A salute to those who had the most impact on the electrical business in the last decade. May, p. 57 The 250 Biggest EW's annual listing of the largest electrical distributors in the U.S. June, p. 29

Land of the giants Manufacturer consolidation and the growth of conglomerates has created tough competition for small companies. June, p. 56

EW's Eighth Annual Hot Products These products will heat up sales and have your inventory people in a sweat trying to keep them stocked. July, p. 33

Ten trends that shook the 1990s-Part 1 An analysis of the trends that impacted the electrical wholesaling industry in the past 10 years, plus projections for the future. December, p. 40

Consolidation comes to New England Find out why consolidation has finally taken hold in the New England area. December, p. 48

M&A Update What the most active acquirers in the industry had to say about consolidation in the electrical wholesaling industry. December, p. 30

Lighting market Indulging the control freaks New lighting controls and dimming systems offer electrical distributors new opportunities. April, p. 33

Lighting's darker side Players in the C/I lighting market often win the game with rules that don't apply to everyone else. An investigative report on how you can get burned in the lighting business. May, p. 52

Creating demand Distributors can compete with ESCOs if they create demand for energy-efficient products. June, p. 78

The latest in lighting There are fascinating new products in store. October, p. 44

Management

Finding talent With unemployment rates at record lows, it's not easy to find top-quality employees-without having to steal from competitors. January, p. 37

Hiring winners Tips on learning the most about prospective job candidates in the interview process. February, p. 49 Keeping top talent How to turn talented employees into a loyal workforce. March, p. 40

Psychological war Negotiations to maximize your company's selling price will make price haggling with contractors seem like pillow talk. May, p. 73

How much is free freight worth? Here's how to figure out when it makes sense to put in a larger purchase order to meet the freight minimum. May, p. 32

What happened to quality? Total Quality Management was the hottest theory in the business world a decade ago. Find out where it is now. June, p. 44

Hire education Hiring students out of university programs devoted to industrial distribution gives some distributors an edge in a tight job market. June, p. 48

Marketing

Putting on a show Even in a high-tech world, many distributors find that an old-fashioned get-together is still the best way to boost sales and cement business relationships. October, p. 38

POS: Cause for pause Despite increasing pressure from manufacturers to hand over point-of-sale information, distributors are unsure of parting with it. November, p. 20

Market Planning

Multipliers demystified How to make sense of the numbers you'll need to figure your market's full potential. November, p. 29

EW's Annual Market Planning Guide and Regional Factbook The sales-forecasting tool and planning guide for 2000. November, p. 33

Sales

The personal touch Salespeople can sometimes help customers who bring personal problems to the workplace. January, p. 39

Early-bird alert on AFCIs Get the jump on sales opportunities created by arc-fault circuit-interrupter requirements. February, p. 22

The need to know Improve your odds of closing the sale by unearthing the buyers motivating influences. February, p. 54

Illustrated changes in the 1999 National Electrical Code Discover new sales opportunities that the NEC code changes create. February, p. 61

Gaining agreement The primary goal of any sale is to convince the customer that he needs your product. March, p. 42

Handling hesitation After a dynamite sales presentation the customer seems interested, but he still hesitates to make the purchase. April, p. 47

Gaining agreement Overcome the most common obstacles to getting a customer to commit to buy. May, p. 78

You have to ask Don't let the trappings of power intimidate you into not asking for the order. June, p. 67

You have to ask Trying to second-guess the buyer could land the order in a competitor's lap. July, p. 48

Asking for the order A perfectly prepared, perfectly presented sales pitch-stymied by a perfectly awful attitude in your buyer. Give that attitude an adjustment. August, p. 44

Sales force of the future As the electrical industry matures, the role of the salesperson will change dramatically. August, p. 58

Sales force automation In the outside sales, just carrying a cell phone and a pager won't hack it anymore. September, p. 31

Asking for the order >From customer hesitation to your own anxiety, here's help in jumping those >last few hurdles toward getting the order. September, p. 43

Post-sale sales Doing your homework after the deal is done can put you miles ahead on that next sale. October, p. 70

The importance of selling with soul Account managers must forget about quick-fixes and learn to listen to the customer's concerns to improve the relationship. December, p. 90