This year’s Top 50, 61% of whom characterized 2015 as business-friendly, exhibit a blend of tempered optimism, eagerness to explore emerging opportunities, and caution in how they approach the marketplace.
It will be important to watch the national electrical contractor employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through the summer it had been tracking well above 880,000 — historically a very healthy level — but it dipped below this threshold sharply in September. It’s hard to determine if this will be anything more than a brief aberration or a regular cycle as construction employment typically slows down as winter approaches.
EW’s editors had a busy year covering all the news that broke in the electrical wholesaling industry in 2016. Here are our picks for the trends that could shape the business in the years to come....More
Population shifts over the past few years clearly illustrated the Patchwork Economy that the United States is wrestling with now. Some local markets are doing great, while others struggle to attract businesses and new residents, according to this data from the U.S. Census Bureau....More
The Dodge Momentum Index moved 0.3% higher in November to 133.2 from its revised October reading of 132.7 (2000=100). The Momentum Index published monthly by Dodge Data & Analytics is a measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year....More
New construction starts in October decreased 4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $678.9 billion, settling back from the elevated amount that was reported in September, according to Dodge Data & Analytics....More
John Gross, publisher of The Copper Journal, has some questions on the dramatic but somewhat puzzling increases in copper prices, the strength of the U.S. dollar, and the continuing rise of the stock market....More
The electrical industry is at yet another interesting economic flashpoint. Growth over the past three or four years has been around 3% to 4%, which is at the low end of the historical industry average. And the 3.1% growth rate that distributor readers of Electrical Wholesaling forecast in a recent survey is accurate, we are in for another year of slow growth.
Electrical Wholesaling's annual Market Planning Guide puts a wealth of regional data at your fingertips and gives you the numbers you need to create a custom forecast for electrical product sales in any of the U.S. Census Bureau's nine geographic regions, down to the metropolitan statistical area.
This gallery highlights the factors influencing growth prospects for each of the regions with links to a more in-depth look for each, including the big projects on the boards or underway and market trends that may affect the region's fortunes over the coming year.
Since mobile devices are so commonplace in our personal lives, we expect the same functionality in our work lives. This has become a challenge for distributors. In particular, many distributors are seeing rising expectations among their customers for faster and better service, wherever they—or their customers—are based. To meet these expectations, you need to ensure that your employees—wherever they are—can access your business system, and communicate quickly and efficiently with customers and employees at other locations....More
There’s no question eCommerce has changed the distribution landscape.
· It’s changed how you find, engage, and retain customers
· It’s changed your relationship with customers and the skills your people need to serve them
· It’s become a necessary business tool...More
In recent years, distributors have seen their markets drastically change with new competitors and new product categories appearing almost daily, and customers wanting to change the way they buy products and services. And when markets change, distributors must change....More