Exclusive Features

Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge Is Power

Since it was first launched in October 2020, distributors large and small have been investing in the NAED’s new Economic and Industry Sector Outlook,  a quarterly tool that brings a wealth of key economic indicators, trends within 11 distribution-focused market segments, and construction trends and forecasts for over 100 different Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) to electrical distribution industry professionals all in one convenient place.

Whether your firm is looking to the Economic and Industry Sector Outlook as the foundation of its market research activities or using it to corroborate other data sources you rely on, the report helps distributors keep their finger on the pulse of trends, assess new markets, and drive strategic decisions.

tED magazine sat down with three leading industry executives (and recent subscribers) — Greg Schaedler, CEO of Harrisburg, PA-based Schaedler Yesco (www.sydist.com), David E. de Steiger, vice president of Sterling Heights, MI-based Raymond de Steiger, Inc. (www.rayelectricsupply.com), and Jim Hlavacek, president of Hampshire, IL-based manufacturer Minerallac (www.minerallac.com) – to see how they’re using the comprehensive new report at their firms and how their investment in the Economic and Industry Sector Outlook is paying dividends.


TEDMag: What appealed to you most about the Economic Outlook and why did you decide to subscribe?

Schaedler:  We support NAED at every turn and in every way we can.  Ultimately, when reading through the report, we found that it provided a lot of insight into the size of various market verticals, such as the electric vehicle market.  Those features of the report piqued my interest.  We subscribed in early April and have so far received the January and April 2021 issues.

De Steiger:  We recognized the Economic Outlook as a terrific way to keep a close pulse on many different sectors of the economy and their trends in a single report.

Hlavacek:  In the 31 years that I’ve been in the electrical products industry at Minerallac, the Economic Outlook is the first data I’ve seen that’s truly specific to our industry.  When I found something built around electrical data that was uniquely designed for our industry members, investing in it was a no-brainer.  We’ve been receiving the report since this January.


TEDMag:  Do you and your colleagues rely on other industry reports and research (both purchased and public domain) to provide insights on where the economy and our served markets are headed?  If so, how does the NAED’s Economic Outlook fit into your overall research portfolio or process?

Schaedler:  We subscribe to other data sources, including the DISC Report, but the Economic Outlook provides a bit more comprehensive analysis into markets and industry verticals, including both historical and future trends.  We use all of that data to evaluate areas we may want to invest in, whether it’s new markets or new verticals like EV.  We’ve also found the report’s insights into the concept of ‘social commerce’ (e.g., using social media platforms to sell) of particular interest.

Hlavacek:  We’re members of AD and IMARK and have traditionally done a lot of networking with other executives regarding what’s going on in the industry; we also network with other noncompeting manufacturers at NAED regional meetings.  In addition, we subscribe to the Kiplinger Letter and the Baird Report, which reports on manufacturers and distributors across a number of segments.

De Steiger:  We use a variety of resources to get economic insights.  The NAED’s Economic Outlook is the best we’ve seen in terms of covering many different industry sectors and economic metrics/forecasts in one easy-to-read report.


TEDMag:  How do you use the Economic Outlook at your company?

De Steiger:  Our executive team reviews the report each quarter to keep up on the trends in the economy and market segments and we then use that information to help guide the decisions we make for our company.

Hlavacek:  I send the report to my CFO, our head of business development, and our operations manager.  We use it to help forecast for the year and to confirm what we’ve been hearing or seeing or to point us in a direction to gather more information if necessary.

Schaedler:  We send the report out to our executive team for their review.  Given the challenges of the past 18 months, ongoing supply issues, and new and growing markets in both the residential and commercial sectors, the report is a great barometer of those trends — what’s up, what’s down, and what’s looking like it will be the next ‘big thing.’  Knowledge is power and we’re always thirsty for it and try to take advantage of everything we can.  We also watch Erin Prinster’s video highlights and have found those short videos very valuable.


TEDMag:  Any final message you can share with other distributors regarding the value of the NAED’s new Economic and Industry Sector Outlook?

De Steiger:  This report is very well organized and put together.  It’s formatted in a way that allows you to quickly see the trends and then dive into the details you wish to read up on.  We look forward to the Economic Outlook continuing to help us identify new opportunities to grow our business.

Schaedler:  Coming directly from our industry association, the Economic Outlook is tailored to our industry — for example, sharing trends on commodities like copper and steel — and vets and uses reliable sources.  For those reasons, it’s probably the most pure data we can have and use because the NAED team understands us best.

Hlavacek:  The way the report assesses each segment is excellent; I was shocked by how well the NAED team did on their first try.  They had a clear vision of what they wanted to accomplish and they did a tremendous job of achieving that.  I haven’t seen anything that provides more information as quickly and in as well-thought-out a format as this report and the value you get for the investment is through the roof.  In my opinion, if you’re in this industry, you’re crazy not to get this report.


Don’t Miss Out!

The Third Quarter 2021 edition of the NAED’s new Economic and Industry Sector Outlook will be available on July 27th.  To subscribe, contact the NAED Member Engagement Team at memberengagement@naed.org, click this link for more information on the NAED website, or simply order it here.


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Susan Bloomis a 25-year veteran of the lighting and electrical products industry.Reach her at susan.bloom.chester@gmail.com.

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