What's New Among the Top 200?

July 25, 2014
In response to our 2014 survey, many of the Top 200's top executives brought us up to date on the latest changes at their companies.

Atlanta Light Bulbs, Tucker, Ga., is moving onto a new ERP this year, and Doug Root, CEO, says the company is making a “heavy investment” into online branding, a new website, blog platform, and email marketing capabilities.

In Colorado Springs, Colo., Steve Blazer, president, said Blazer Electric Supply recently started up the Blazer ProFab division to provide customers with custom pipe bending and threading and labor-saving pre-assembled boxes, switches and plug drops.

Steve Bellwoar, president, Colonial Electric Supply, King of Prussia, Pa., said his company recently launched “web-based Jobtrack software that provides customers remarkable access to all aspects of the project and is driving demand for our project services.”

Julie Kingsley, controller, Electric Equipment Co., Greensboro, N.C., said a major reinvestment in the company’s IT department is one of the company’s big moves, which also include a major recruiting effort for its field service teams that provide diagnostic testing and related services, and an acquisition last year of Atlantic Control Products, Summerville, S.C., to bolster its business in industrial automation and motors. “We are making much greater investment in digital platforms and IT,” she said. “Flexibility, access and the ability to manage complex data is more important than ever. We are investing more into digital marketing, beginning with a new website and expanding into an expansive organic content program. Customers are demanding more self-service options and greater access, and we are implementing a multi-phase ecommerce program in response.”

Elliott Electric Supply, Nacogdoches, Texas, opened locations in Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Pearsall, Pecos, Snyder, and West Fort Worth, Texas. The company also acquired AMO Electric Supply, with locations in Fayetteville, Rodgers and Siloam Springs, Ark., and upgraded its legacy computer software with new features for outside sales, customer inventory management, order tracking and mobile devices for customers and employees.

In addition to opening a New York, N.Y., branch, Stephen Byrne, general manager, Facility Solutions Group, Austin, Texas, said FSG is in the midst of transformation that will “carry the company forward for the next 30 years.” “We have made significant investments in people, technology and infrastructure and have reorganized our organization to increase our focus on improved sales management and operational execution,” he said. “We are betting big on the future.”

The F.D. Lawrence Electric Co., Cincinnati, celebrates its 110th anniversary in 2014 and was recognized last year as a Platinum Level member of the IMARK buying/marketing group. The company also was a finalist in the University of Cincinnati’s 2013 Private Business Award issued by the Goering Center for Family & Private Business. Scott Lepsky, marketing manager, says the company also is adding additional resources to support its growing Energy Efficiency division and hired systems support personnel to help maximize efficiencies with its ERP system.

Barney Sloat, V.P.-general manager, Forest Hills Electrical Supply Inc., Randolph, Mass., says the company will be upgrading its operating system in 3Q 2014 and has added field salespeople in its energy and lighting businesses. The company also recently hired several new employees in inside sales and project management.

Cara Backman, marketing manager, Franklin Empire, Montreal, one of Canada’s largest electrical distributors, reports that the 72-year-old company will be installing a new computer system this year.

Lawrence Heimrath, chairman, G&G Electric, New York, says the company recently opened a new branch in Harlem and will be buying a large warehouse in the Bronx. He expects to be in the facility in 3Q 2014.

Graybar Electric Co., St. Louis., Mo., reported new branches in Montgomery, Ala.; Decatur, Ga.; Champaign and Rockford, Ill.; Dickinson and Minot, N.D.; Binghamton, N.Y.; Williamsport, Pa.; Columbia, Mo.; Boston (downtown), Mass.; and Carrizo Springs, Deer Park and Odessa, Texas.

Mission Controls & Supply, San Antonio, Texas, is one of the many electrical distributors celebrating an anniversary this year (25 years). David Gardner, president, says the company will be moving into a new 50,000-square-foot facility this summer and will be hiring this year. “Outlook is strong,” he says.

Standard Electric Supply Co., Milwaukee, plans to expand its Milwaukee headquarters, and Larry Stern, president, says the company is looking at opening additional locations this year to expand its territory. This year marks the company’s 95th year in business.

Rusty Batch, CEO, Tristate Utility Products, Marietta, Ga., is proud of the longevity of many of the company’s vendor relationships and says 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the company’s relationship with Howard Industries and 20 years with Nordic Fiberglass. In 2013, the company also celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Florida business unit with an open house and product expo.

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