Since the wave of electrical contractor consolidation last year, distributors have been waiting anxiously for the other foot to fall-waiting to hear they've been dumped in favor of a direct purchasing strategy.

Building One Services Corp., Lenexa, Kan., took a public stand making its intentions clear this week with the release of a statement and policy on the value of distribution. "We are not a distributor, nor should we try to be," said the statement. "Our role in the electrical industry is to be the very best electrical contracting company in the country. To do this, we should constantly raise the bar of our service expectations with those distributors we do business with. Better service from our distributors translates into better service for our customers and lower costs for ourselves."

The group's published policy on commodity products includes the statement, "We will not solicit or accept rebate offers from manufacturers or their agents. Nor will we interfere with the historical relationships that exist between the manufacturer and their distribution." In return, said the policy, Building One expects distributors to provide "exceptional service and competitive pricing."