This handy compilation will be your first-stop reference when searching for information and contacts. The listings provide contact information for industry associations, sources for marketing information related to electrical distribution, consultants and more.
INDUSTRY TRADE ASSOCIATIONS American Lighting Association (ALA)
ALA offers distributors with residential lighting showrooms and others involved in the home lighting industry a full slate of educational and networking opportunities.
P.O. Box 420288
Dallas, TX 75342-0288
Web site: www.americanlightingassoc.com
Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
AEE is a source for information on energy efficiency, utility deregulation, facility management, plant engineering, and environmental compliance. The group keeps its membership informed through technical seminars, conferences, certification programs and books to critical buyer-seller networking trade shows. AEE's Web site offers job listings, utility news updates and valuable links. Its membership includes 8,000 professionals in 67 local chapters.
4025 Pleasantdale Rd, Suite 420
Atlanta, GA 30340
Web site: www.aeecenter.org
Association of Energy Services Professionals International (AESP)
AESP serves its members by disseminating information about marketing, customer research, energy services technologies, pricing and load profiling. The group has numerous conferences, a quarterly newsletter, weekly industry updates via email, training programs, topical committees, local chapter organizations and various publications.
17610 128th Trail North
Jupiter, FL 33478
Web site: www.aesp.org
Association of High Technology Distribution (AHTD)
AHTD represents automation solutions providers and manufacturers of industrial automation products. The organization produces a newsletter, directories, profit reports and industry surveys. AHTD also assembles networks of non-competing automation solution providers to facilitate the exchange of ideas and business practices.
1900 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1498
Web site: www.ahtd.org
BICSI was organized to improve the services and methods of the telecommunications industry, primarily through education. It's well-known in the voice/data business for its certification program for installers. BICSI holds design and cabling workshops in North America every year and publishes technical manuals, guides and dictionaries. With a membership of 22,000, its annual expenditures are approximately $14 million.
8610 Hidden River Parkway
Tampa, FL 33637
Web site: www.bicsi.org
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Founded in 1973, this non-profit energy research consortium caters to electric utilities and their customers. Its mission is to provide science and technology-based solutions to its global energy customers by managing a far-reaching program of scientific research, technology development and product implementation. Participation in EPRI's program is open to all organizations involved in the energy industry throughout the world.
3412 Hillview Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Web site: www.epri.com
Edison Electric Institute
Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies, international affiliates and industry associates worldwide. EEI works with its members to advocate equitable policies in legislative and regulatory arenas. The Institute provides analysis and critical industry data to its members, congress, government agencies, the financial community and other influential audiences.
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Web Site: www.eei.org
Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA)
The Electrical Apparatus Service Association Inc. (EASA) is an international trade organization in the motor market with nearly 2,400 electromechanical sales and service firms in 56 countries. Through its many engineering and educational programs, EASA provides members with a means of keeping up to date on materials, equipment and state-of-the-art technology.
1331 Baur Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132
Web site: www.easa.com
Electrical Equipment Representatives Association (EERA)
EERA's mission is to advance the quality and increase the effectiveness of manufacturers' representatives in the electrical equipment industry. Check out the Web site for a longer list of services and goals.
P.O. Box 419264
Kansas City, MO 64141-6264
Web site: www.eera.org
Electro Federation of Canada (EFC)
This national, not-for-profit industry association represents more than 225 member companies, key players in the electrical, electronics and telecommunications industries in Canada. Employing more than 130,000 workers in more than 1,400 Canadian facilities, EFC member companies manufacture and distribute a diverse array of products including household appliances, lighting, consumer electronics, communications and electronic equipment, cabling, industrial equipment and other electrical products.
5800 Explorer Drive, Suite 200
Mississauga, ON L4W 5K9
Web site: www.electrofed.com
Industrial Distribution Association (IDA)
This trade association represents more than 1,800 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Formed in 1988 by a merger of three North American regional associations, IDA's activities focus on all areas critical to managing a distributorship, including operations, sales and marketing, human resources, quality, technology, finance and customer service. Standard products carried are commonly MRO items (maintenance, repair and operations).
1227 Lenox Park Blvd., Suite 275
Atlanta, GA 30319
Web site: www.ida-assoc.org
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)
With its diverse membership of engineers, architects, designers, educators, students, contractors, distributors, utility personnel, manufacturers and scientists, the IESNA's mission is to advance knowledge and disseminate information for the improvement of lighting to the benefit of society. It's been doing that for more than 90 years.
120 Wall St., 17th Floor
New York, NY 10005
Web site: www.iesna.org
Independent Electrical Contractors Inc. (IEC)
Through membership in IEC, open-shop electrical contractors can increase their chances for success in the electrical construction marketplace.
4401 Ford Ave., Suite 1100
Alexandria, VA 22302
Web site: www.ieci.org
Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA)
IDEA manages the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) and the IDX2 electronic network for its distributor and manufacturer members. It was created to foster the growth of e-business and related communications standards in the electrical industry and other vertical markets.
1300 N.17th St., Suite 1847
Rosslyn, VA 22209
Web site: www.idea-inc.org
Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE)
The IEEE (Eye-triple-E) is a non-profit, technical professional association of more than 377,000 individual members in 150 countries. Through its members, the IEEE is an authority in technical fields such as computer engineering, biomedical technology, telecommunications, electric power, aerospace and consumer electronics.
3 Park Ave., 17th Floor
New York, N.Y 10016-5997
International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI)
The primary concern of the IAEI is consumer safety. Knowing that mishandled electricity can become extremely dangerous, perhaps even fatal, IAEI and its members are committed to improving design, installation, inspection and usage of energy.
901 Waterfall Way, Suite 602
Richardson, TX 75080
Web site: www.iaei.org
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
In its 111 years, IBEW has worked to support and protect the rights of its unionized electrical contractors.
1125 15th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Manufacturers' Agents National Association (MANA)
MANA is a trade association for independent manufacturers' representatives that work in many different industries. With a major emphasis on education, MANA's mission is to aid in the development and promotion of mutually profitable relationships, ethical standards of behavior for reps, their principals and joint customers.
23016 Mill Creek Road
Laguna Hills, CA 92654
Web site: www.manaonline.org
National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED)
Since 1908, the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) has served as the trade association for the electrical distribution industry. Dedicated to serving and protecting the electrical distribution channel, this not-for-profit organization provides networking opportunities through approximately 50 meetings and conferences a year, training through the NAED Education Foundation, industry information and research through TED magazine and a marketing campaign for the industry through its Advocacy Initiative.
1100 Corporate Square Drive Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63132
Web site: www.naed.org
National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO)
NAESCO has assumed a leadership role in representing the energy services industry in state and federal proceedings on electric utility restructuring and facilitating the use of distributed energy resources. The association provides a slew of benefits to its ESCO members, including its quarterly magazine, The Energy Efficiency Journal, networking opportunities, business partnerships, legislative representation and advocacy.
1615 M St., NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20036
202-822-0950; Fax: 202-822-0955
Web site: www.naesco.org
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
NAHB is a federation of more than 800 state and local builders associations throughout the United States. Its mission is to enhance the climate for housing and the building industry, and to promote policies that will keep housing a national priority.
About one-third of NAHB's 205,000 members are homebuilders and/or remodelers. The remainder of the membership consists of associates working in closely related fields — such as mortgage finance and building products and services — within the housing industry.
1201 15th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Web site: www.nahb.com
National Association of Independent Lighting Distributors (NAILD)
NAILD's mission is to enhance the value of the specialized lighting distributor by creating opportunities for business development and growth through education and member interaction. Founded in 1977 by a small group of lighting distributors, NAILD has grown to well over 180 members.
2207 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14216-1009
Web site: www.naild.org
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW)
NAW represents the wholesale distribution industry and is active in government relations and political action, research and education, and group purchasing. NAW operates the Wholesaler-Distributor Political Action Committee, the Distribution Research and Education Foundation and the NAW Service Corp.
1725 K St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
Web site: www.naw.org
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
NECA, founded in 1901, represents more than 70,000 electrical contracting firms and includes 119 U.S. chapters in addition to others in countries around the world. Dedicated to enhancing the industry through continuing education, labor relations, current information and promotional activities, it is an important voice in the electrical contracting industry, working to promote higher standards, quality workmanship and training for a skilled workforce.
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
NEMA provides a forum for the development of technical standards, and advocating industry policies on legislative and regulatory matters that might affect the industry.
1300 North 17th St., Suite 1847
Rosslyn, VA 22209
Web site: www.nema.org
National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA)
NEMRA, and its affiliate, the NEMRA Manufacturers Group (NMG), is a North American trade association dedicated to promoting the use of independent manufacturers representatives as the most effective way to market products in the electrical industry. It offers its members professional development programs, continuing educational opportunities, guidelines for the development of relationships between manufacturers and representatives, plus a variety of other services designed to enhance their business. During the one-on-one sessions at NEMRA's annual conference, reps can meet with all of their manufacturers in the course of two or three days.
660 White Plains Road, Suite 600
Tarrytown, NY 10591-5104
Web site: www.nemra.org
National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA)
NEDA is a not-for-profit association representing distributors of electronic components, computer and computer peripheral components and test, measurement and control equipment parts.
1111 Alderman Drive, Suite 400
Alpharetta, GA 30005-4143
Web site: www.nedassoc.org
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA's mission is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02269
Web site: www.nfpa.org
North American Association of Utility Distributors (NAAUD)
NAAUD members are independent distributors who specialize in supplying products and supply chain services to the electric utility industry. During power outages, the members work together to ship their products to the members in the affected area.
P.O. Box 1930
Lady Lake, FL 32158
Web site: www.naaud.org
Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA)
Founded in 1960, PTDA is a U.S.-based trade association representing almost 240 power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distributor firms with almost 3,000 locations throughout North America and almost 20 other countries, as well as 200 manufacturers that supply the PT/MC industry. PTDA's mission is to strengthen members to be successful, profitable and competitive in a changing market environment.
250 South Wacker Drive, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60606-5840
Web site: www.ptda.org
Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League (PEARL)
PEARL membership is offered to those electrical companies that qualify as recyclers, vendors, and associates. The association develops information, networking and other services for the proper recycling and reuse of electrical power equipment. Members set high standards for quality reconditioning and safety.
6257 Lakepoint Place
Parker, CO 80134
Web site: www.pearl1.org
Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA)
STAFDA is an international trade association composed of distributors, manufacturers, and rep agents of light construction, industrial and related products.
P.O. Box 44
Elm Grove, WI 53122
Web site: www.stafda.org
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization that has been testing products for public safety for more than a century. Each year, more than 17 billion UL marks are applied to products worldwide.
333 Pfingsten Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
Web site: www.ul.com
BUYING/MARKETING GROUPS Affiliated Distributors (A-D)
2700 Horizon Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Web site: www.adhq.com
6009 Oxon Hill Road, Suite 314
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Web site: www.imarkgroup.com
Equity Electrical Associates
PO Box 248
East Walpole, MA 02032
Web site: www.equity.org
Electrical Distributors Network (EDN)
7757 Auburn Road, Unit 27
Concord, Ohio 44077
Web site: www.profitpower.com
DON'T-MISS WEB SITES
When you do online research looking for trends in the electrical market, you don't have the time to mess around with search engines that dredge up hundreds of mis-hits and completely extraneous information. Below are Web sites that Electrical Wholesaling's editors have found quite useful when researching this market, trends in distribution or small business growth strategies.
Electrical Wholesaling magazine
Please pardon the self-promotion, but EW's editors believe the site's editorial archives, which contain all of the feature articles appearing in the past few years, can help electrical marketers research companies, key trends and other important market statistics. One of the most popular areas of the site is its up-to-date listing of the electrical industry's 250 largest electrical distributors.
Sales and Marketing Management magazine's Web site
This site is loaded with top-quality editorial on sales, marketing and management issues for businesses of all sizes. The site also offers subscription-based online access to the magazine's popular “Survey of Buying Potential” demographic data.
Inc. magazine's Web site
Along with being one of the finest monthly business publications, Inc. runs a dynamite Web site. You can access hundreds of articles on virtually any business topic you can think of, participate in surveys and read current articles. If you are surfing the Web looking for information on running your own business or doing your job better, you can't spend your time much better than visiting Inc.'s Web site.
Industrial Distribution magazine's Web site
While the information on this site is not always specifically about electrical products or electrical-industry companies, it's packed with information on trends in the distribution business as a whole, industry news and product information.
Merrifield Consulting Group
One of the earliest online information portals in the distribution industry, Bruce Merrifield's site has for years had so much darn good information for surfers interested in broad trends in the wholesale distribution industry that it's well worth the hours of connect time you will probably spend here. The site also offers a ton of articles packed with Merrifield's thoughts on electronic commerce and his observations on sales and marketing trends.
If you are looking for financial data or profile information on a public or private company, visit www.hoovers.com. The site is loaded with data and is easy to navigate.
If you touch the residential market at all, make the HousingZone one of your regular stops on the Web. Designed for building professionals in the housing industry, the site will give you a good flavor of what's new in the housing market.
Small Business Association (SBA)
This site is loaded with solid information on starting, operating and expanding a small business. To get information from the SBA, your best bet is to go through this Web site. If the main site does not have what you need, contact your local SBA office, which is listed on the Web site.
U.S. Census Bureau
When you need statistics on construction or population trends, make this site one of your first visits. It's surprisingly easy to access mountains of data on housing starts, permits and related construction trends.
More than 70 federal government agencies, including the U.S. Census department, can be searched in one stroke from a site called “FedStats” maintained by The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy.
Bizsites' State and Region Reviews
Developed by Plants Sites & Parks magazine, this Web site packages information on the business climate in different regions of the United States for companies considering relocation or new facility construction.
The nearest Federal Reserve Bank
These banks often have excellent regional economic data. To find the Web site of the nearest Federal Reserve, go to the address listed above and click on the map in the appropriate region.
If you are looking for a one-stop Web-based resource for information on the lighting industry, go no further. This site has a terrific selection of product information and sources for lighting products. The site has been around for years and continues to be one of the best online lighting resources you will find.
Operated by interLight.com, one of the largest online lighting resources, this Web site offers design advice and other technical information for residential applications.
Lighting Research Center
Managed by staff and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, N.Y., the Lighting Research Center offers a wealth of technical data on residential lighting, as well as different segments of the lighting field.
This lighting-design tutorial site highlights design parameters, technologies and lighting terminology.
GE Lighting's Virtual Design Center
In GE Virtual Lighting designer, you can compare different lighting schemes in a house. GE Lighting's Nela Park Lighting Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, is world-famous as a training center.
Lightolier's Lessons In Lighting
Lightolier's Web site offers a free online training course in the fundamentals of lighting.
Don Klipstein's Lighting Info. Site
This site offers a potpourri of lighting facts, opinions and links.
N.E. CODE INFORMATION Mike Holt Enterprises
This Web site, run by one of the leading N.E. Code authorities in the U.S. will answer many of your questions on the N.E. Code. Your customers will find it to be a valuable resource for information on many areas of running an electrical contracting firm.
Joe Tedesco's N.E. Code Violations
Joe Tedesco, a Massachusetts electrical inspector, is nationally known for his columns on National Electrical Code violations in EC&M and CEE News magazines. To get a flavor for his work, check out this Web site. You won't believe some of the electrical installations that you will see here.
Newton's International Electrical Journal
This site is one of the granddaddies of electrical industry Web sites and also one of the best places on the Internet to find technical information such as interpretations of the National Electrical Code. It's a very popular site — Since July 1995, the site's home page has been accessed over 500,000 times.
OTHER GOOD RESOURCES Rand McNally Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide
This book offers a ton of easy-to-find demographic information, as well as the maps of all Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the U.S. It's usually available in a good business library.
2001 Survey of Buying Power
Published by Sales and Marketing Management magazine, this is one of the bibles in the demographics field. It's packed with local market data, including five-year population growth forecasts. Look for it in the library or pay the $48 for a yearly subscription and online access to this resource.
State and Metropolitan Area Data Book
Published by the U.S. Census Department, this handy resource is packed with demographic information. Check www.census.gov/statab/www/smadb.html for more information.
Departments of economic development
Any state in the U.S. actively courting new businesses usually has a Web site with some basic economic information.
Chambers of Commerce
While some chambers of commerce offer little more than the phone numbers of the local Welcome Wagons, others may have the information you need. It's worth a shot, but don't get your hopes up.
Local union chapters
When looking for employment statistics on the number of electrical contractors in your area, don't forget to check with the local union hall.
Local home builders' associations
These groups often have statistics on housing starts or building permits. The local Board of Realtors may also have this information.
Business department of a college or university
You may be surprised by the amount of data business schools collect on the local economy. It's a mixed bag as to how to access this data. Sometimes it's available for free on the Web; at times it may be a for-pay proposition. It's also often available at the nearest college or university library.
You have a decent chance of finding some free statistics at good-sized banks in your area. Some of them may even offer this information online.
Many newspapers do a real nice job of archiving business articles of interest to the local community. Sometimes there is a per-article fee to access a newspaper's database.
Hopefully, your friendly suppliers are loaded with exactly the type of market data you need. Don't bet on it, but some electrical manufacturers invest a lot of time into researching end-user market potential.
Your salespeople's Rolodexes are probably the best reference sources for forecasting future sales. Good salespeople always keep an ear to the ground for leads on expansion plans or new bids. For sales-potential estimates, they should also find out the number of employees a customer has, and then use the sales potential multipliers available each year in the November issue of Electrical Wholesaling magazine.
Bruce Merrifield, The Merrifield Consulting Group, Inc.
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.merrifield.com
Expertise: Strategic planning, sales, marketing and management strategies
Wayne Murphy, WTM Consulting
E-mail: [email protected]
Dick Noel, Electrical Management Personnel Inc.
Expertise: Management recruiting