Most electrical distributors are quite familiar with their top suppliers of wire and cable, conduit, lamps, lighting fixtures, ballasts, switchgear, motor controls, distribution equipment, gear and the dozen or so other product lines that produce most of their sales. But what about the other 100 to 200 equipment manufacturers that typical electrical wholesalers stock in their warehouses?

Electrical distributors tend to focus on their largest vendors, and I think you will agree that most distributors probably don't know very much about these other equipment manufacturers or the products that they sell.

That's why the EW's editors decided to develop this Source Book. Now in its second year, the EW Source Book lists hundreds of manufacturers of electrical or electronic equipment that use electrical distributors to sell products to electrical contractors and other end users.

This Source Book is actually a spin-off of the CEE News and EC&M Buyers Guides, which are also published by Primedia Business Magazines and Media. To create this resource for Electrical Wholesaling's readers, the company's Directories Department produced a listing of manufacturers from these publications that sell through distribution. Electrical Wholesaling's editors added additional manufacturers that are members of major electrical trade associations, several of the industry's buying/marketing groups and from trade show exhibitor lists.

Instead of spending hours searching through aging heaps of product literature, cut-sheets or catalogs or going on a scavenger hunt out on the Web, Electrical Wholesaling's Source Book can help you get the key information that you need to find electrical or electronic equipment in just a few minutes.

Locating products is easy in the Source Book. If you are looking for the phone number or Web site address for a certain manufacturer, use the alphabetical section beginning on page 16. If you need to know who manufactures a certain electrical product, just flip to the product section to find the category that you need. Then get that company's contact information in the alphabetical listing.

In addition, the Source Book also has a robust list of business resources such as industry consultants, software companies and trade associations that focus on the electrical industry beginning on page 6.

We also published our picks for the most useful online and “offline” resources for market forecast information, questions on the National Electrical Code or insight on managing your business more profitably. Do you want to redesign your warehouse, expand your business into a new market area or build a Web site? The consultants and other resources listed in the Source Book can help.

Another popular tool in this year's Source Book is the “Manufacturer Checklist,” on page 10. Developed over the years by the magazine's editors and published in “The Electrical Marketer's Survival Guide,” this updated checklist can help you evaluate new or existing sources of supply.

Find a good hiding spot in your office for the 2002 Electrical Wholesaling Source Book. It's a keeper, and there's a good chance that once your co-workers see how handy it is, it will “get legs” and be carried off. If that happens, give me a call at (913) 967-1743, or e-mail me at jlucy@primediabusiness.com. I will be happy to send you another copy.

The Source Book will eventually be available on the magazine's Web site at www.ewweb.com, but for now just think of it as an “old-fashioned” print resource for the electrical wholesaling industry that's part phone book, part primer and part business encyclopedia.