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Contractors Speak Up: Regional vs. National Suppliers

By Bridget McCrea

For the most part, Michael Duffield is pretty happy with the products and services that Apopka, Fla.-based Greenway Electrical Services, LLC, receives from the electrical distributors that it works with. Of course, as with anything, there’s always room for improvement. “There are certain areas that the distributors have to work on,” says Duffield, manager and service manager, “but all in all I’m very pleased with them.”

Duffield says his “go to” distributor list includes Mayer Electric Supply on the regional side and Graybar on the national level. As a woman-owned business (WBE), Mayer Electric plays an important role in Greenway Electrical Services commitment to purchasing goods and services from firms that fall under that category. Duffield says Graybar fulfills his firm’s need for geographical coverage as it works on projects across the state.

 “I can’t brush distributors with one stroke; there are certain advantages and disadvantages to using regional versus national outfits,” says Duffield. Regional distributorships, for example, are “small enough to make quick decisions without having to work through a lot of red tape,” he explains, “but still large enough to have purchasing power.” On the other hand, he says national and/or global firms tend to offer more depth of products and services, “yet aren’t as flexible as regional or local organizations.”

Duffield says he’s particularly impressed when large distributors commit to setting up “hubs” or “zones” that allow contractors like Greenway Electrical to get same-day deliveries on unique and hard-to-find items. “That’s definitely a strong point for the national companies that we work with.”

McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.

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