This is the last of three consecutive columns about distributors and e-commerce. The last two installments covered: Grainger, Rexel and Sonepar; and WESCO, Vanguard Distribution and “NetPricer” from ElectricSmarts.com, respectively.
The average electrical contractor spends perhaps three-quarters of his or her material dollars with distributors. What are these “old reliable” vendors doing on e-commerce? That’s the subject of this column, covering Grainger, Rexel and Sonepar.
This is the last piece in a series on companies marketing e-commerce services to electrical contractors. We’ve been able to limit this coverage to four columns because so few companies now seek to provide these solutions.
Recent events require some further precautions to be taken when preparing an estimate. Safety has always been a concern that contractors have had to cover as far as a cost basis, productivity and worker morale.
TradePower’s businesses form a three-legged stool. Right now, that third leg, the digital marketplace, is the weakest. But if the company’s venture capital backers (at Boston Ventures) are correct, someday the third leg might dwarf the others.
Cahner’s in-state group recently predicted that the connected home market, which consists of home networking equipment and software, residential gateways, and home control and automation products, will grow from $1.4 billion in 2001 to $9.2 billion worldwide by 2006.
It is a fact of life that we need to secure our homes and places of business. But security cannot rest on its laurels alone. For security to truly fit the end-users’ needs, it has to incorporate many facets of supervision and control.
There are a number of encouraging signs indicating a rising demand for fire alarm panels in commercial and industrial buildings. Local, state, and federal building codes are the primary drivers, but the recent U.S. economy has not hurt either.
A proposal’s primary objective is to persuade your customer to take specific action, including contracting your products and services. Often you will write a proposal in response to a request for proposal (RFP) or request for quotation (RFQ) that the prospect and/or consultant sends.
Having the proper resources and experiences to handle various VDV projects is one thing. Articulating those skills to a customer is quite another. The way a company develops and presents a proposal is equally important as its ability to complete the work.
Successful electrical contracting firms consistently earn higher-than-normal profit margins in the voice/data/video (VDV) market by providing VDV solutions, not just by selling time and material with a markup. Expanding a business paradigm goes beyond expanding its scope of services.
Landscape lighting can be an added revenue source for electrical contractors at many project sites. While not cut-and-dry, it can be a manageable and profitable way to increase the scope of work at a site where you already have a good working relationship.