Welcome to ElectricalTrends

ElectricalTrends is a communications vehicle offered to the electrical distribution industry by Allen Ray Associates and Channel Marketing Group. The purpose of ElectricalTrends is to share Allen Ray Associates' and Channel Marketing Group's insights on industry trends, observations on industry activities and issues and offer ideas that may benefit industry participants in their endeavor to improve their businesses in the areas of growth and profitability.

Readers should not construe our postings, nor comments from individuals as reasons to purchase / not purchase from a supplier nor as a basis for making an investment decision.

For more information about ElectricalTrends' purpose, moderation policy or to advertise on ElectricalTrends, click on the applicable link or email David Gordon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

E-Biz Ends with a Standing Ovation

And Bernie Westapher, Panduit, and Phil Barrios, Hubbell, are two classy individuals (no they didn’t pay me to say that, I’ll explain at the end).

First, a few things about the conference, then some session observations:
  • This was the largest meeting that IDEA has held and there were many technology providers presented. Much networking, and business, took place. Distributors and manufacturers who took advantage of the opportunity to talk to these companies are positioning themselves well to become more effective, and efficient, in the marketplace.
  • IDEA launched its new website. Lot’s more information on it, plus a live chat function for quick customer support. The redesign, and new functionality, were very well received. Kudos to the team.
  • I attended the eMobileCat presentation. Very interesting presentation and powerful software.
A couple of comments on the breakout sessions that I attended…
  • Overall, attendees were pleased with the quality and the content. In the words of one attendee, “We get stuff done at IDEA meetings.”
  • Manufacturers explained what they were doing, and why, in some of the sessions (panels). Distributors complained about access and quality of data. At the same time, it appears that legacy data in distributor systems is hampering some distributors, others are challenged based upon the age (hence functionality / capabilities) of their ERP systems.
  • I understand that a session moderated by Ed Orlet, NAED, had some controversy according to a couple of manufacturers.
  • A panel discussion entitled “What’s wrong with the data” was very good, and David Starr from McNaughton-McKay knows his stuff. If you are a distributor and have questions, he’s your man. If you are a manufacturer, you should consider listening to him.
  • A NEMA economist provided an economic overview. He thinks that a slowdown will be “shallow / short-lived” although he projects that there will be a further decline in residential with some spreading to the commercial market. The overall sense from talking with attendees is that they sense a change in the market, but don’t necessarily have a good sense of what, or how severe, that change will be.

All of the presentations are available for download from IDEA’s website.

Additionally, IDEA announced that its 2008 Electro E-Biz Forum will be held September 14-16 in Washington DC. The conference will mark IDEA’s 10th Anniversary. Mike Rioux encouraged everyone to bring one non-IDEA user to the conference to generate greater efficiencies and e-knowledge, in the industry.

And about Bernie and Phil …

At the conclusion of the conference, the two of them stood before the attendees and publicly acknowledged the contributions of Mike Rioux. They commented on his professionalism, knowledge, performance and ability to make IDEA a success and wished him well on his next endeavor. Attendees responded with a standing ovation.

A class act…individuals with vision.



  1. For those of us that talked about the NAED strong arm tactics and you don't agree, place some calls to the NAED Board members listed below:
    Tammy Miller - Chair
    Border States Electric Supply Richard Waterman - Chair-Elect
    Executive VP & CEO
    International Electric Supply Corp.
    John Duda - Past Chair
    Chairman & CEO
    Butler Supply Glenn Goedecke - VP South Central Region
    Alabama Division Manager
    Mayer Electric Supply

    Daniel Gray - VP Eastern Region
    President & CEO
    Independent Electric Supply
    Thomas Isenberg - VP Western Region
    Western Extralite Co.
    Barry Boyer - VP- Elect South Central Region
    President & CEO
    Van Meter Industrial, Inc. Richard Williams - VP-Elect Eastern Region
    President & COO
    Dominion Electric Supply Co., Inc.
    Jack Henderson - VP- Elect Western Region
    Executive Vice President
    Hunzicker Brothers, Inc. David White - Member-at-Large
    Executive VP & COO
    Shealy Electrical Wholesalers
    Robert Reynolds, Jr. - Member-at-Large
    Chairman, President & CEO
    Graybar Clifton Kelly - Member-at-Large
    President & CEO
    Stoneway Electric Supply
    Joe Huffman - Member-at-Large
    VP Supplier Relations
    Consolidated Electrical Distributors Larry Stern - Finance Chair
    Standard Electric Supply Co.
    Douglas Borchers - Yet Chair
    VP Sales & Engineering
    Dickman Supply, Inc. Todd Kumm - IDEA Vice-Chair
    President & COO
    Dakota Supply Group
    Jack Mumford - Foudation Chair
    President Western Region
    Sonepar USA John Spoor -Foundation Chair-Elect
    President & COO
    State Electric Supply Co.
    Larry Powers - Manufacturer Rep
    Maybe you call will have some effect on regaining the focus we had before NAED got it's paws involved. TC

  2. Allen what do you think about eMobileCat?


  3. To SH,
    Re: eMobileCat
    Good product from what I saw at e-Biz in Canada.
    You might want to contact me at ara.associates@gmail.com

    Allen Ray


Channel Marketing Group | Allen Ray Associates