While analyzing the 150 responses to Electrical Wholesaling’s 2015 Top 200 survey, I was struck by how many of this year’s respondents are investing in their companies in many different ways big and small, despite the uncertain economic climate....More
This being Electrical Wholesaling magazine’s 95th Anniversary Year, I thought we could all learn something about M&As in our industry by taking a look back at EW’s first-ever listing of the electrical market’s largest distributors. That first list, published in 1970, had 100 distributors ranked by number of employees because sales volume was unavailable for so many of the companies. Following are a few things I learned from that first listing....More
Traditional electrical distributors and lighting distributors will need new levels of high technical competencies and new services/solutions to elbow their way to the table as the lighting industry evolves. And who will they be competing against in addition to traditional competitors?...More
One of the great things about the electrical wholesaling industry is that when you get right down to it, the vast majority of entrepreneurs who founded electrical distributors, independent manufacturers’ reps, electrical manufacturers and electrical contractors are living the American Dream....More
We all agree though that change/transition has many faces. A lot of uncertainty. But one thing is certain, it will happen, whether you like it or not, whether you can adapt or not, whether you transition with the skill-sets necessary to reposition your company to thrive or not. During any transition, there will be winners and losers, and great opportunities for many companies and devastating losses for some....More
Whether it’s a high-profile downtown office tower like New York’s Freedom Tower or a more modest building in a suburban office park, office construction provides big dollars for distributors, manufacturers, reps and contractors....More
Some news stories that hit the street over the past few weeks illustrate just how fast things are changing in the electrical wholesaling industry. Some of the news presents sales opportunities for electrical distributors, electrical manufacturers and independent manufacturers’ reps, while other stories are very definitely challenges that could eventually impact sales. Let’s take a look at them....More
NEMA’s report on modernizing the electrical grid offers some sound advice to legislators on ensuring a more dependable power supply, and we applaud the association’s efforts for representing the electrical industry’s energy interests in Washington, D.C....More
When you look at the growth numbers for cities like Boston, New York, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Raleigh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., you realize just how fast they are growing compared to other U.S. cities....More
For applications in the electrical market, having internet-addressable components provides energy managers, property owners, C-suite execs and anyone else who has to sign off on a facility’s electrical bill with actionable data in customized reports, such as the potential for future energy savings and early warnings on operational issues....More
Whether manufacturers are making acquisitions, moving into new markets, launching new products, appointing new executives or reorganizing their operations, they are often making the moves because of opportunities or challenges in five areas....More
Customers in the electrical industry are now going through what those in the financial industry did years ago. Technology is driving an increase in options, which is driving a power shift to the customer, which is requiring sellers to deliver real value in order to survive....More
One of the biggest advantages distributors have over Amazon is the expertise they have in electrical products, the relationships they have built with electrical contractors and other core customers and their willingness to locally stock so much inventory — not only the fast-moving SKUs, but those that can take longer to sell — and deliver it, often at a moment’s notice right to customers’ job-sites....More
The supply of electrical products is not an end in itself. But that’s the conventional way we size this industry, or in fact any industry — in terms of sales or revenues. But is this really the best metric?
That depends on what you are trying to measure. At the most aggregate level, supply equals demand — what distributors sell is what customers buy. (For 2013 it’s about $90 billion). We are talking about distributors as the supply side to the end market customer, not talking about the manufacturer as the supplier....More
I recently gave a presentation to a group of business journalists in the Kansas City area about the career skills they need to survive in the business publishing world. I guess they figured that since I have managed to stick around for more than 30 years with Electrical Wholesaling, I might know a thing or two about dancing between the raindrops without getting wet....More
Did you ever stop and think about why some electrical distributors die? What were the reasons for their demise?
Consultant Bruce Merrifield was for many years a regular speaker at electrical industry meetings. One thing he said that always stuck with me is that distributors usually perish from a thousand different nicks rather than from one competitor that cuts them off at the neck with one cut from a sharp competitive sabre. Let’s take a look at some of the most common “nicks.”...More
Three of the news stories we picked for this month’s cover story are part of much larger macrotrends that could reshape core elements of the electrical industry and the U.S. economy throughout the next decade and beyond....More
Electrical Wholesaling’s annual survey of the Top 200 electrical distributors always offers one of the electrical market’s best spot checks on the economic health of the industry at mid-year. And as you might expect in a year where business prospects vary so wildly from metro-to-metro and niche-to-niche, one’s sense of the market climate will depend on with whom you speak.
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