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Wake Me Up When It's Over

Nov. 1, 2008
We've seen this movie before, and the plot never gets any better.

Wouldn't it be nice to just Tivo ahead to the end of this recession? We are already sick of hearing about how bad business will be in 2009, how the federal government's stimulus package and other measures will take time to have their intended effect, etc.

This recession does seem like it will be particularly deep and nasty. But you and your company have survived recessions in the past, and the odds are that you will survive this one, too. During good times and bad, Electrical Wholesaling has been there for its readers and has helped them through bad times before.

Founded in 1920, EW has published many articles over the past 80-plus years that have helped electrical professionals survive the Great Depression, World War II, Home Depot, the dot-com era and a bunch of other pretty ugly recessions. We will be there to help you get through this downturn, too.

Please excuse a little shameless self-promotion, but I think this issue provides a particularly good package of articles that will help you position your company for this business cycle. For starters, check out the 2009 Market Planning Guide (page 26). It offers sales forecasts, local market data and marketing strategies that you can use to chart a course for your company for the next year. Electrical Wholesaling has been publishing this benchmark industry resource every year since 1978. No other business publication in the electrical market has been providing so much valuable forecast data for so long.

For many of those years, there's only been one other reliable source for electrical sales forecast data — DISC Corp.'s Herm Isenstein. You can find out what he sees for the electrical market through 2010 in his feature article on page 48. Electrical Wholesaling editors are proud to have the electrical industry's leading economist in its stable of regular contributing writers.

Right after reading Herm's article, be sure to check out “Financial Freeze,” on page 51. Contributing Editor Dale Funk spent a lot of time talking with distributors and reps around the United States to find out what direct impact the credit crisis is having on their local markets. She did a great job telling the story of just how quickly this crisis has affected the electrical market.

As Dale learned while researching this article, distributors will have to make some tough decisions about where to make their investments in 2009. In “The Real Green” (page 64), Rene Jones of Total Logistics Solutions makes his case for why electrical distributors need to get back to basics when the economy turns sour and focus on their warehousing and logistical services.

In any recession, electrical distributors see smaller electrical contractors move more of their purchasing onto credit cards because they often can't get lines of credit at the local bank. This trend presents some challenges for electrical distributors because it slows down the flow of cash through their businesses.

In “The Credit Card Crunch” (page 66), Allen Ray of Allen Ray Associates, Kennedale, Texas, and David Gordon of Channel Marketing Group, Raleigh, N.C., provide some expert insight into the impact credit card purchasing has on electrical distributors and offer some real-world ideas on how distributors can best manage their contractor customers that use credit cards most often.

To wrap up our package of articles on the electrical economy, Bruce Hartranft of Ideal Industries offers 10 ideas that any distributor can use to ride out this recession in this month's Speaking Out column (page 74).

The articles in this month's issue provide dozens of ideas you can use to get through this recession. Make them required reading for your management team.

About the Author

Jim Lucy | Editor-in-Chief of Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing

Jim Lucy has been wandering through the electrical market for more than 40 years, most of the time as an editor for Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing newsletter, and as a contributing writer for EC&M magazine During that time he and the editorial team for the publications have won numerous national awards for their coverage of the electrical business. He showed an early interest in electricity, when as a youth he had an idea for a hot dog cooker. Unfortunately, the first crude prototype malfunctioned and the arc nearly blew him out of his parents' basement.

Before becoming an editor for Electrical Wholesaling  and Electrical Marketing, he earned a BA degree in journalism and a MA in communications from Glassboro State College, Glassboro, NJ., which is formerly best known as the site of the 1967 summit meeting between President Lyndon Johnson and Russian Premier Aleksei Nikolayevich Kosygin, and now best known as the New Jersey state college that changed its name in 1992 to Rowan University because of a generous $100 million donation by N.J. zillionaire industrialist Henry Rowan. Jim is a Brooklyn-born Jersey Guy happily transplanted with his wife and three sons in the fertile plains of Kansas for the past 30 years. 

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