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Articles in this section are intended to help electrical contractors grow and improve their businesses, from financial and legal advice to creating a service and maintenance department. You’ll find articles on estimating projects and more below. 

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This article is the second in a series of six tactics in which the electrical contractor can maximize purchasing power and profitability though procurement. Click here for part 1.

In the larger quest to address climate change and energy use, efficiency plays a major role. Within the realm of efficiency, buildings have become a major focal point.


On Jan. 12, 2015, passengers on a Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail train were trapped for some 40 minutes in the tunnels between two downtown D.C. stations, while smoke filled the air, according to the Washington Post.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is not typically an event that draws electrical contractor interest, but this year’s show raised some eyebrows in the low-voltage market. An influx of products demonstrated that ECs could be pulled further into the high-end consumer market.


More on Your Business

 
Use Your Distributor to Help Add Value
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An owner approaches you not only for the electrical wiring of a new building, but also the highest-tech structured cabling system available for security, networking and e-access, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

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Fire & Life Safety
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Every electrical contractor involved in the installation and maintenance of life safety systems knows that what really drives the fire market is local, state and federal building codes and the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Surviving the Last Mile
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Sometimes the last 5 or 10 percent of the job is the hardest to complete, and the most expensive per item. You think that you have reached substantial completion and want to come to an understanding about what is left to be done for final completion and final payment.

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Profiting from Six Sigma
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Six Sigma is a program for improving manufacturing quality developed by Motorola in the mid-1980s and adopted and expanded by General Electric (GE) in the 1990s. Today, Six Sigma is being used by a variety of other well-known manufacturing firms as well as all types and sizes of service firms.

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Article 210 - Branch Circuits
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Please see Electrical Contractor magazine for referenced Figures.

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Recession Survival Strategies
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Whether you believe we’re having a recession, might have one or are just coming out of one, there are ways to make such downtimes less painful. Analyze your field labor force. How many full-time journeymen and apprentices are making you money?

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When Time Is Not on Your Side
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The poet Robert Burns wrote that “the best laid plans of mice and men may soon go asunder.” (In the original, it was written: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ man gang aft agley.”) Nothing could be truer for construction schedules.

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